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Toward a naturalistic foundation of the social contract

  • Christian Cordes

    ()

  • Christian Schubert

    ()

This paper delivers a step toward a naturalistic foundation of the social contract. While mainstream social contract theory is based on an original position model that is defined in an aprioristic way, we endogenize its key elements, i.e., develop them out of the individuals’ moral common sense. Therefore, the biological and social bases of moral intuitions are explored. In this context, a key adaptation during evolution was the one that enabled humans to understand conspecifics as intentional agents. Since these behavioral aspects are considered to be an exaptation, they are not amenable to direct genetic explanations or to rationality-based approaches. Copyright Springer Science + Business Media, LLC 2007

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1007/s10602-006-9011-z
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Article provided by Springer in its journal Constitutional Political Economy.

Volume (Year): 18 (2007)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 35-62

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Handle: RePEc:kap:copoec:v:18:y:2007:i:1:p:35-62
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102866

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  1. Viktor J. Vanberg, 2004. "The Status Quo in Contractarian-Constitutionalist Perspective," Constitutional Political Economy, Springer, vol. 15(2), pages 153-170, 06.
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  18. Stefan Voigt, 1999. "Implicit Consitutional Change-Changing the Meaning of the Constitution Without Changing the Text of the Document," European Journal of Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 7(3), pages 197-224, May.
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