Morals By Agreement
Are moral principles actually principles of rational choice? Starting from the view that it is rational always to choose what will give one the greatest expectation of value or utility--and the common counter-claim that this procedure, applied in many situations, will actually leave people worse off than need be--Gauthier instead proposes a principle of cooperation whereby each must choose in accordance with a principle to which all can agree. He shows that not only does such a principle ensure mutual benefit and fairness, but also that each person may expect greater utility from actually adhering to a morality based on it, even though his other choice did not have that specific end primarily in view. In resolving what may appear to be a paradox, he establishes morals on the foundation of reason.
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