social contract

Peter Vallentyne
From The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics, Second Edition, 2008
Edited by Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume
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Abstract

Social contract theory is a theory about how the moral assessment of actions, practices, institutions, laws, constitutions, or related items is based – directly or indirectly – on the consent – actual or hypothetical – of the members of society. Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant represent the main historical figures. Rawls, Gauthier, and Scanlon are the main contemporary figures.
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How to cite this article

Vallentyne, Peter. "social contract." The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Second Edition. Eds. Steven N. Durlauf and Lawrence E. Blume. Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics Online. Palgrave Macmillan. 24 March 2017 <http://www.dictionaryofeconomics.com/article?id=pde2008_S000165> doi:10.1057/9780230226203.1552

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