Prudence and justice

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Abstract

Whereas principles of justice adjudicate interpersonal conflicts, principles of prudence adjudicate intrapersonal conflicts - i.e., conflicts between the preferences an individual has now and the preferences he will have later. On a contractarian approach, principles of justice can be theoretically grounded in a hypothetical agreement in an appropriately specified pre-moral situation in which those persons with conflicting claims have representatives pushing for their claims. Similarly, I claim, principles of prudence can be grounded in a hypothetical agreement in an appropriately specified pre-prudential situation in which those temporal parts of a person with conflicting claims have representatives as advocates of their claims. During the course of developing the prudential contractarian methodology, I consider a dispute between those who would see principles of justice as the outcome of a choice (e.g., Rawls) and others (e.g., Gauthier) who argue for viewing principles of justice as the outcome of a bargain. I contend that the reasons I adduce in favor of viewing principles of prudence as the outcome of a choice weigh equally in favor of viewing principles of justice as the outcome of a bargain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)35-63
Number of pages29
JournalEconomics and Philosophy
Volume20
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics

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