social contract

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social contract

A usually implicit agreement among the members of an organized society or between the governed and the government defining and limiting the rights and duties of each.

social contract


social compact

(Philosophy) (in the theories of Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, and others) an agreement, entered into by individuals, that results in the formation of the state or of organized society, the prime motive being the desire for protection, which entails the surrender of some or all personal liberties

so′cial con′tract

the agreement among individuals by which society becomes organized and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: contract - an implicit agreement among people that results in the organization of society; individual surrenders liberty in return for protection
accord, agreement - harmony of people's opinions or actions or characters; "the two parties were in agreement"
References in periodicals archive ?
42) But Easterbrook and Fischel do not employ the hypothetical contract device in that way.
Rather than discussing whether a social contract ever took place in the form described by Locke, Rawls interprets Locke's social contract theory as a hypothetical contract under which only certain political regimes could arise He shows how, even if a meeting of primeval people never occurred, the social contract method could be understood as a test for the legitimacy of regimes.
At oral argument, Roberts asked whether a dispute over a hypothetical contract for murder should be sent to arbitration if it contains an arbitration clause.