It is perhaps not surprising that the revival of contemporary contact theory took place at the same time as the theoretical tools of games, and negotiation theory in particular, began to be applied to philosophical problems. Negotiation theory, as developed by John Nash (1950) and John Harsanyi (1977), is a rigorous approach to modeling how rational individuals would agree to share something good or supernumerary. In its most general form, the negotiation model of the agreement specifies a group of people who have individual utility functions that can be represented in relation to each other without the need to directly compare interpersonal benefits. Certain goods or merchandise intended for division will be specified, and if the persons concerned can agree on how the good in question is to be divided, they will receive this division. However, if they can`t get along, they get their disagreement result instead. Maybe that`s what they brought to the table, or it could be another specified amount. An example is a simple application game in which two people have to write how much of the donated prize pool they want. If the two « commandments » are equal to or smaller than the pot, everyone will receive what they have written, otherwise not everyone will get anything. In the first Platonic dialogue, Crito, Socrates convincingly explains why he must remain in prison and accept the death penalty instead of fleeing and going into exile in another Greek city.
He embodies the laws of Athens and declares that with their voice he has acquired an overwhelming obligation to obey the laws because they have made possible his entire way of life and even the fact of his very existence. They allowed his mother and father to marry and thus have legitimate children, including himself. After the birth of the city of Athens, his laws required his father to take care of him and educate him. Socrates` life and how that life flourished in Athens depend on the laws. However, it is important that this relationship between citizens and the laws of the city is not enforced. Citizens, when they are adults and have seen how the city behaves, can choose to leave, take their property with them or stay. Staying implies an agreement to comply with the law and accept the sanctions they impose. And after concluding an agreement that is himself just, Socrates claims that he must respect this agreement he has concluded and obey the laws, in this case by suspending and accepting the death penalty. It is important to note that the treaty described by Socrates is implicit: it is implicit by his decision to stay in Athens, although he is free to leave.
Rousseau`s political theory differs from that of Locke and Hobbes in important respects. Rousseau`s collectivism is most evident in his development of the « luminous conception » (which he attributes to Denis Diderot) of the general will. Rousseau argues that a citizen cannot pursue his true interest by being selfish, but rather must submit to the law created by citizens acting as a collective. This problem is particularly acute at the international level, due to the great differences between States, particularly in terms of relative wealth and power. However, many critics of social contract theory have argued that the problem also occurs at the national level. Particularly noteworthy are those who argue from a feminist point of view (e.B. Carole Pateman`s The Sexual Contract) or from the point of view of critical racial theory (e.B. Charles Mills, The Racial Contract).
These critics argue that racist or patriarchal assumptions are embedded in the claims of social contract theory regarding the nature of rationality or the material principles of justice. Second, social contract theories are attracted to certain party representations in order to make the electoral situation decisive. However, this objective of determination may lead to the elimination of the pluralism of the parties, which was the initial impetus for the award of contracts. In his lectures on the history of political philosophy, Rawls says that « a normalization of the interests attributed to parties » is common to the « doctrines of the social contract » and that it is necessary to unify the perspectives of the different parties in order to build a « common position » (2007, 226). Rawls seems to indicate here that it is necessary to « normalize » the perspectives of the parties in order to obtain certainty in the contractual procedure. In addition to subjectivism, Hobbes also concludes from his mechanistic theory of human nature that humans are necessarily and exclusively selfish. All people pursue only what they perceive to be in their own individual interest – they react mechanically by being attracted to what they desire and being repulsed by what they are opposed to. It is a universal claim: it should cover all human actions in all circumstances – in society or outside, in relation to strangers and friends, in relation to small goals and the most general human desires, such as the desire for power and status.
Everything we do is motivated solely by the desire to improve our own situations and satisfy our own individual desires as much as possible. We are infinitely appetizing and only sincerely care about ourselves. According to Hobbes, even the reason adults care for young children can be explained in terms of adults` self-interest (he claims that when we save a child by taking care of them, we become the recipient of a strong sense of commitment in someone who has been helped to survive rather than being allowed to die). However, the situation is not hopeless. Because people are reasonable, they can see their way out of such a state by recognizing the laws of nature that show them the means by which they can escape the state of nature and create a civil society. The first and most important law of nature requires that every human being be ready to seek peace when others are willing to do the same, while retaining the right to continue waging war when others are not seeking peace. Since they are reasonable and recognize the rationality of this fundamental commandment of reason, people can be expected to build a social contract that allows them to live a different life than they have in the state of nature. This contract consists of two separate contracts. First, they must agree to found society by collectively and mutually renouncing the rights they had against each other in the state of nature. Second, they must equip a person or gathering of persons with the power and authority to enforce the original contract. In other words, to ensure that they escape the state of nature, they must both agree to live together according to common laws and create a mechanism for the application of the social contract and the laws that compose it.
Since the sovereign is endowed with the authority and power to impose sanctions for breaches of contract that are worse than not being able to act as he pleases, people have good, if selfish, reasons to adapt to the artificiality of morality in general and justice in particular. Society becomes possible because, while in the state of nature there was no power capable of « overwhelming » them all, there is now an artificially and conventionally superior and more powerful person who can force men to cooperate. While living under the authority of a ruler can be difficult (Hobbes argues that because people`s passions can overwhelm their mental health, the ruler must have absolute authority for the contract to succeed), at least it`s better than living in the state of nature. .