Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.


Any of various theories that justify moral principles or political arrangements by appealing to a social contract that is voluntarily committed to under ideal conditions for such commitment. Also called contractualism.

con′trac·tar′i·an adj.
con′trac·tar′i·an·ist adj.
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
One of the most interesting of these chapters is a feminist critique of contractarianism by Diana Coole, a Senior Lecturer in Politics at Queen Mary and Westfield College, University of London.
In 1985 I published an essay in which I explicitly argued that liberal versions of contractarianism would not lead to the adoption of any but the most minimalist versions of retributivism.
Thus, the justifications at issue in assessing allocations of optional benefits and burdens unsurprisingly require a justificatory theory such as utilitarianism, contractarianism, or libertarianism might provide.
Ige Omotayo Bolodeoku, Contractarianism and Corporate Law: Alternative Explanations to the Law's Mandatory and Enabling/Default Contents, 13 CARDOZO J.
We can read discussions on whether Kantian disinterest is the appropriate mode of apprehension for football; on whether the position of the referee in football is best theorized by natural law theory, by Hobbesian or Rawlsian contractarianism, by John Austin's theory of laws as commands of the sovereign, Hart's theory of laws as social rules, or Holmes's legal realism (all this in four pages, which gives some idea of the depth and sophistication of the analysis).
57-63), and contractarianism (discussing Narveson on pp.
There are even more finely nuanced approaches to criminalization that we could very well examine: ones rooted in libertarianism, economic analysis, utilitarianism, and contractarianism, for instance.
Yet the author of Reflexions (like the author of Marriage a la Mode) does not turn to bourgeois contractarianism either: young men, he insists, must marry for the sake of their family lines rather than seek elective affinities.
As Puka (1994b) put it, "the moral depictions in his stages reputedly leaned toward ethical rationalism, Kantianism, social contractarianism, meta-ethical objectivism, and formalism," which critics said "was progressively 'read in' to the data" (p.
Ordered Anarchy and Contractarianism, ANTHONY DE JASAY
For a sampling of this debate, see, for example, SHEPHERD, supra note 4 (defending an account of fiduciaries as "entrustment" leading to "encumbered power" and rejecting property-based theories, reliance-based accounts, contractarianism, unjust enrichment theories, and "power and discretion theory"); Victor Brudney, Fiduciary Ideology in Transactions Affecting Corporate Control, 65 MICH.
Hobbes and Contractarianism," in The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics and the Law, edited by P.