There is a reading of the (first) hypothetical question “If the agreements if___ “, which, as has been suggested, is still, in a way, empirical. It is the reading in which the theorist tries to determine what a real survey of real citizens would reveal about her real attitude towards her system of social arrangements. (Of course, this rarely happens; the theorist does so in her imagination. See wcsko 2000). But there is another interpretation that is more accepted in the contemporary context. At this reading, the question no longer arises on actual reactions; Rather, it is a hypothetical question of hypothetical reactions – it is, as we have said, doubly hypothetical. Asking the question is the first hypothetical element: “Would this be the subject of an agreement if they were questioned?” This question frames the second hypothetical element that concerns citizens who are no longer treated empirically, that is, who are considered given, but considered themselves from a hypothetical point of view – as they would be if they were (typically) better informed or more impartial, etc. The question for most contemporary theorists of the treaty is: “If we were to question the idealized surrogate of real citizens in this policy, what social arrangements would they be the object of an agreement between them?” Although contracts are different in their presentation of individuals` reasons, some being drawn to more objective accounts (Scanlon 2013), most Hobbes follow in modeling individual reasons as subjectively, motivating internally or at least agent. This may be due to skepticism about moral reasons in general (Gauthier, 1986, Binmore 1998, a conviction on the overwhelming importance of self-interest in the social order (Hobbes 1651, Buchanan 2000 [1975], Brennan and Buchanan 1985), a concern to take seriously individual differences of opinion in modern society, including differences in objectivity (Gaus 2016, 2011a; Muldoon 2017; Moehler 2014, 2015, shortly) or because this approach corresponds to the most developed theories of rational choice in the social sciences (Binmore 2005, Buchanan 2000 [1975]). In all cases, the reasons why individuals agree with certain rules or principles, particularly their own reasons and are not “good” from an impartial point of view.

Of course, the same individuals can deal with what they perceive as an impartial good or another non-individualistic idea – they don`t need to be selfish – but what is important to them, and therefore their reasons will be different from each other. This point, as Rawls points out in his later work, is crucial to understanding political justification in a diverse society where members of a society cannot reasonably be expected to have similar conceptions of the property (Rawls 1996). The most recent contract accounts place even more emphasis on heterogeneity (Southwood 2010, Gaus 2016, Muldoon 2017, Moehler to come, Thrasher 2014b, Thrasher and Vallier 2015, Thrasher 2015).


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