social contract

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social contract

n.
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

or

social compact

n
(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


n.
the agreement among individuals by which society becomes organized and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare.
[1840–50]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.social 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.
So far, I have been exploring what Shavell meant and whether Shavell draws the appropriate conclusions about the contents of his hypothetical contract.
The justification of a Code of Ethics as a rational reconstruction of a hypothetical contract leads into severe difficulties.
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.
A second problem in defining the majoritarian rule is to identify the information structure for the hypothetical contract.
Korobkin presents a study designed to test this hypothesis: 151 law students were asked to provide advice to a client in a number of hypothetical contract negotiation scenarios, with the content of the default terms manipulated among experimental groups.
The structure of hypothetical contract arguments is not easy to identify but we should recognise one in the offing whenever an author details the wants and values of a rational agent and asks what institution such an agent would endorse given the acknowledged wants and values of other rational agents and the recognised need for a co-operative solution to hypothesized conflicts.
In recent years, legal theorists and others have made frequent use of hypothetical contract analysis when attempting to resolve issues of fairness.
Not all uses of hypothetical contract arguments suffer from the difficulties laid out here.