Justice Through Trust: Disability and the 'Outlier Problem' in Social Contract Theory
20 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2009
Date Written: October 2005
Viewed as a bargain among equals for reciprocal advantage, social contract theory has been criticized as ignoring outliers such as persons with disabilities. Critics such as Martha Nussbaum have contended that the idea of a social contract must be abandoned in favor of other ways of modeling justice. This article contends that the problem lies in modeling social contract justifications as bargaining for mutual advantage. The insight of social contract theory rests on the importance of respect for individuals with differing conceptions of their good. Reconceptualizing contract theory in terms of building trust relationships fosters inclusiveness and respect.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation