Hume and Kant on the social contract

Jeffrie G. Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


In this lecture I have attempted to survey the main points of contention between Hume and Kant with respect to their treatment of social or original contract theory. I have tried to show that their conflicts, running as they do to the heart of each thinker's moral philosophy, are very deep indeed. If nothing else, they show the conceptual dependence of social and political philosophy upon moral philosophy and were worth exploring at least for that reason. I have not, of course, said anything about the most important question of all: which, if either, of the two theories is true? Pehaps we can begin an exploration of that question together.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)65-79
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 1978

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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