sexta-feira, 2 de agosto de 2013

Can the Social Contract Be Signed by an Invisible Hand? Guest Editors: Geoffrey Brennan, Bernd Lahno

The title of this special topic in RMM is borrowed from a 1978 paper of Hillel Steiner in which he argues against Robert Nozick’s invisible hand conception of the emergence of the state. Steiner believes that central institutions of social order such as money and government need some form of conscious endorsement by individuals to emerge and to persist over time. 

Tony de Jasay's critique (in Philosophy 85, 2010) of Bob Sugden's plea for a Humean version of contractarianism (see RMM, Vol 0) motivated us, to take this old – but still central – theme of the debate on the origin of social order as one starting point in a new attempt to evaluate the idea of a social contract).
Within the 35 years since the publication of Hillel Steiner’s paper different advances have been made in economics and philosophy that may well shed some new light on some of the fundamental issues in the debate about a contractarian conception of social order. These make us confident that a new attempt to explore the contractarian idea is well worthwhile. 

The special topic will include contributions by Hillel Steiner, Anthony de Jasay, Bob Sugden, Jerry Gaus, Jan Narveson, Peter Vanderschraaf, Russell Hardin, and others. Please visit our Website at and choose the special topic from the menu to see a first list of contributions announced.

Special topics are analogous to special issues of print journals but are organized differently in order to make use of the flexibility of an online journal.

The contributions to special topics appear like any other paper in the current volume of RMM. While the editors of a special topic determine a logical sequence for the papers, RMM publishes the papers as they become ready for publication. In order to see all the contributions to a special topic in their logical sequence, readers can switch  to the relevant special topic page.

In principle, a special topic is an open-ended project. RMM's editors and the guest editors may decide to add further papers anytime. Moreover, all comments on papers of a special topic become part of the special topic. Since RMM publishes papers in the order they become ready for publication, the first papers to appear may be papers in the middle or at the end of the logical sequence chosen by the guest editors. The other papers will be listed with author and title and marked as "coming soon". 

Rationality, Markets and Morals (RMM) is an open access journal at the intersection of philosophy and economics. It addresses topics such as:
  • Foundational issues in decision theory, game theory and social choice theory
  • The ethics of the market
  • Problems in business ethics
  • The methodology of economics
  • Philosophy of science and the foundations of statistics
  • Political economy and the foundation of social and political institutions
  • Philosophical aspects and applications of behavioral economics
  • Economic approaches to classical philosophical problems such as in ethics or social epistemology
  • The theory of instrumental rationality and its limits
General submissions within this range are welcome. They should be prepared for blind reviewing and sent to

RMM also encourages its readers to submit critical comments on articles published in RMM.

Bernd Lahno, Editor RMM
Frankfurt School of Finance & Management
Sonnemannstr. 9-11
D-60314 Frankfurt am Main
Tel: +49 69 154008-748
Fax: +49 69 154008-728

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