Title page for ETD etd-07142001-091919

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Baltzly, Vaughn Bryan
Author's Email Address baltzly@yahoo.com
URN etd-07142001-091919
Title Contractarianism and Moderate Morality
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
FitzPatrick, William J. Committee Chair
  • options
  • contractarianism
  • deontological constraints
  • ethics
  • Shelly Kagan
Date of Defense 2001-06-25
Availability unrestricted
In his book The Limits of Morality, Shelly Kagan claims that contractarian approaches to ethics are incompatible with our common, everyday, "moderate" morality. In this thesis I defend a version of contractarianism that I believe leads to both deontological constraints and options; i.e., to a genuinely moderate morality. On my account, the parties to the agreement are conceived of as being motivated not only to promote self-interest, but also to formulate a code of ethics that gives proper respect to their moral status as persons. If such a picture of the bargainers' motivations is defensible, as I believe it is, then the 'moderate' may in fact have recourse to contractarianism in her defense of everyday morality, for - as my thesis argues - bargainers that are thus motivated will arrive at a moderate morality.
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