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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014

so′cial con′tract

the agreement among individuals by which society becomes organized and invested with the right to secure mutual protection and welfare.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
It is an ethic that, unlike utilitarian and contractarian ethics, yields real obligation and real guilt for disobedience.
Given that almost every observer thinks that, in the area of theory construction, John Rawls's success in simultaneously making it respectable for philosophers to again do normative ethics (rather than confining themselves to meta-ethics) and making a contractarian ethics a plausible alternative to utilitarianism is the most important accomplishment in this century, and given that almost all observers think that feminism is the most important radical social philosophic movement to have emerged during the last three decades - and since normative theory is supposed to have consequences for other areas - it is surprising that there has been so little interaction between the two camps.