moderate morality sufficient to meet Kagan’s challenges. Chapter three explores a way in which constraints – constraints which are genuinely deontological, yet which nevertheless admit of principled exceptions and thresholds – might arise from the bargainers’ self-interest-maximizing motive and their concern that the moral system they adopt give adequate recognition to their inviolability. Chapter four then proceeds to ground options in the bargainers’ desire to formulate a set of rules that properly recognizes their status as ends-in-themselves. Attention is also given to the fact that acceptance of the pro tanto reason to promote the greater overall good emerges from the bargainers’ belief that persons are ‘worthy of concern.’
It should be noted at the outset that I do not take this to be anything like a complete presentation of a contractarian account. Rather, it is more a gesture toward what might serve as a fully-articulated contractarian response to Kagan’s challenge in The Limits of Morality. Nor is the contractarian account towards which I gesture taken to be anything like a full account of morality. Instead, I wish to follow several recent prominent contractarians1 in pointing out that such an account only deals with one specific – albeit, very important – aspect of morality: that part of ethics which concerns, in T. M. Scanlon’s phrase, “what we owe to each other.”2 Nevertheless, I hope that this study can make a useful contribution to the ongoing discussion regarding both contractarianism and our ordinary, everyday, ‘moderate’ morality.
Cf. Rawls, pp. 12 – 14, and Scanlon, pp. 6 –7.
Scanlon, p. 7.