Act and Principle Contractualism
Unrejectability is the property shared by things no one could reasonably reject. Following the lead of T. M. Scanlon, modern contractualists hold Principle Contractualism : An act is obligatory when conformity to unrejectable principles requires its performance. This article entertains Act Contractualism : An act is obligatory when its performance is unrejectable. The article hypothesizes that Principle Contractualism owes its initial plausibility to the assumption that following it somehow realizes unrejectability, if only indirectly. The article then argues that, whereas following Act Contractualism realizes unrejectability, following Principle Contractualism realizes a convoluted, principle-mediated, non-causal conformity relation between acts and unrejectability. But then the notion that this relation is what matters ultimately in action does not seem to enjoy independent plausibility. After interrogating Scanlon's objection that the challenge to the principle-based nature of contractualism is ‘misconceived’, I conclude that Act Contractualism is the more fitting contractualist theory of obligation.
Volume (Year): 23 (2011)
Issue (Month): 03 (September)
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Cambridge University Press, UPH, Shaftesbury Road, Cambridge CB2 8BS UK|
Web page: http://journals.cambridge.org/jid_UTI
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cup:utilit:v:23:y:2011:i:03:p:288-315_00. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Keith Waters)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.