Legal Theory Lexicon: Contractarianism, Contractualism, and the Social Contract


Some of the key conceptual tools deployed by legal theorists are likely to be familiar to most law students from their undergraduate education.  One of these is the notion of the "social contract"–familiar from Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau.  But unless you were an undergraduate philosophy major or have some graduate work in philosophy, you may not be as familiar with some of the ideas that have grown out of the social-contract tradition.

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