Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10419/20020
Authors: 
Cordes, Christian
Schubert, Christian
Year of Publication: 
2005
Series/Report no.: 
Papers on economics & evolution 0501
Abstract: 
This paper delivers a step toward a naturalistic foundation of the social contract. While mainstream social contract theory is based on an original position model that is defined in an aprioristic way, we endogenize its key elements, i.e., develop them out of the individuals? moral common sense. Therefore, the biological and social basis of moral intuitions are explored. In this context, a key adaptation during evolution was the one that enabled humans to understand conspecifics as intentional agents. Since these behavioral aspects are considered to be an exaptation, they are not amenable to direct genetic explanations or to rationalitybased approaches.
Subjects: 
Social contract theory
Fairness
Intentionality
Empathy
Human
JEL: 
P16
D71
D63
B52
A13
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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