The philosophical thought experiment of social contract theory is the belief that a person’s moral and political obligations are dependent upon an agreement among individuals to form the society in which they live. Philosophers have long sought to specify principles of justice by asking what we would agree to if we came to a bargaining table to negotiate the outlines of a society in which we subsequently would live. This video explores classical social contract theory examples in relation to the idea of equal shares and the idea of equal respect.
Additional Readings and Videos
Here are recommended readings and additional videos that could be added to a syllabus or lesson plan on this topic.
Books and Articles
Ackerman, Bruce A. 1983. “On Getting What We Don’t Deserve,” Social Philosophy & Policy 1: 60-70.
Ackerman, Bruce A. 1980. Social Justice In the Liberal State. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Schmidtz, David. 2017. “After Solipsism,” Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics 6: 145-65.