Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: Nicholas Southwood on Deliberative Contractualism

At "Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews", Kevin Vallier reviews "Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality" (Oxford University Press, 2010) by Nicholas Southwood:

Review of "Contractualism and the Foundations of Morality"

Southwood tells us: "The central thesis of deliberative contractualism is that morality's foundations are to be located in facts about hypothetical, deliberatively rational agreements regarding the terms upon which we are to be permitted, forbidden, and required to conduct ourselves toward others."
Readers who detect Habermasian elements in this claim are right to do so, for Southwood acknowledges "important affinities" with Habermas and other deliberative democrats. Indeed, the book can be read as an attempt to apply the justificatory structure of deliberative democracy to contractualist moral theory.

Kevin Vallier is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Bowling Green State University.

See my previous post on Nicholas Southwood's book here.

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