Review Questions on Gauthier

1. Gauthier begins by pointing out what he calls a foundational crisis in morality. For what sort of moral framework does the crisis arise, and what fundamental question does the crisis pose?

2. What three objections does Gauthier anticipate to his description of the crisis and how does he answer them?

3. Describe in detail Gauthier’s notion of “deliberative justification”. According to Gauthier, how is deliberative justification caught up with the identification of the self?

4. Gauthier compares the foundational crisis in morality with a similar crisis in religion. In what three ways does he suggest that morality could survive its crisis?

5. Describe, as best you can, Gauthier’s proposal for solving the foundational crisis in morality. How does Hobbes’s Foole present a challenge to Gauthier’s model of morals by rational agreement? What two errors does Gauthier see in the Foole’s strategy?

6. Gauthier asserts that persons will probably move from a model of actual to hypothetical agreement in practice. What does this mean, and why does he think this will happen? Do you agree that it will happen? Why or why not?

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