Dynamic Contractarianism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


The paper proposes an account of moral contractarianism that is dynamic, evolving and consists of topical social conventions. Social conventions and the social contract are seen as sets of social equilibria in repeated, non-random interactions among rational agents. Changes in social conventions affect the social contract and vice versa, the social contract frames and constrains social conventions. As such, the two are interdependent and coevolve in the sense that a change in one, will cause the equilibria in the other to shift. The proposed dynamic contractarianism bypasses some of the most significant criticism against social contract theory, namely, problems with the rationality of compliance and the justification of third party enforcement.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerspectives in Social Contract Theory
EditorsEdwin E. Etieyibo
Place of PublicationWashington DC
PublisherCouncil for Research in Values & Philosophy (RVP)
ISBN (Print)9781565183315
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2018

Publication series

Name Cultural Heritage and Contemporary Change Series II, African Philosophical Studies
PublisherCouncil for Research in Values & Philosophy, Washington, D.C.


  • social contract
  • rationality
  • moral contractarianism
  • social conventions
  • repeated interactions


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