Philosophical Perspectives on the Social Contract Theory: Hobbes, Kant and Buchanan Revisited. A Comparison of Historical thought Surrounding the Philosophical Consequences of the Social Contract and Modern Public Choice Theory | Mathias ROYCEAbstract: To what extent is a prevalent social order that is constructed upon the freedom of the individual impacted by decisions taken in the domain of positive economics? How does the Hobbesian reductionist view of the state of nature correlate to the Kantian view of selfruled individualism expressed through rationality and autonomy? Applying Hobbesian thought in a democratic-economic context explains established and customary behaviour patterns of political economy in a reduced environmental setting. In precisely such setting individuals remain individuals on the basis of their ability to freely enter into contracts and any political means are attached to these individuals governed through an artificially constructed social contract. In the value-based and moral understanding of the social contract in its Kantian interpretation, the individual demands dignity and respect. This consequently justifies the individual as an end, rather than only a mean. How does Hobbesian and Kantian philosophy measure-up to Buchanan’s public choice theory and to what degree does the inclusion of morals in public choice lead to a normative diffusion of the social contract theory?
Keywords: Social contract, philosophical consequences, modern public choice theory, Kant, Hobbes, Buchanan.
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