Social Contract Theory
- Hobbes' social contract theory sees morality as being in a our long term self-interest
- If we are moral people will treat us in the same way in return
- Morality is a contract in which we will all benefit
- Morality is a man-made thing so moral rules are whatever we make them
- Hobbes claims that without a social contract there would be a 'war of all against all' and life would be 'nasty, brutish and short'
- Straight forward, simple theory. We all understand contracts as a normal part of everyday life and so it seems reasonable to think morality works in this way too.
- Kant- Criticised by his claim that the only moral actions are those motivated by duty. This means that an action done as part of a social contract is motivated by self-interest so ceases to be moral at all
- Free Rider Problem- own self interest to get away with breaking the agreement if everyone else is being moral. You can gain an advantage over everyone else as long as you aren't caught.
- Easier for those in a position of power to be moral according to the contract as they have no reason to breach the contract
- Being moral through developing virtues and so become more fulfilled.
- Virtue is a disposition to behaving a positive way willingly with no alterior motives
- The doctrine of the mean - , and through good judgement and reasoning we can establish the right balance. For example, courage falls between cowardice and foolhardiness
- Function of human beings is to reason and function makes us fulfilled. Only through reason can be flourish
- Eudemonia is the goal of life which is achieved through the development of our virtues and talents so we can flourish
- Three parts to the soul - Reason, appetite and will
- Each part of the soul has a counterpart - Wisdom for reason; temperance…