For contractarians, justice is the result of a rational bargain. The goal is to show that the rules of justice are consistent with rationality. The two most important bargaining theories of justice are David Gauthier’s and those that use the Nash’s bargaining solution. I argue that both of these approaches are fatally undermined by their reliance on a symmetry condition. Symmetry is a substantive constraint, not an implication of rationality. I argue that using symmetry to generate uniqueness undermines the goal of bargaining theories of justice.
Thrasher, John. “Uniqueness and Symmetry in Bargaining Theories of Justice.” Philosophical Studies, vol. 167, no. 3, 2014, pp. 683-699. doi: 10.1007/s11098-013-0121-y
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