Assignment: Social Contract Theory
Assignment: Social Contract Theory
Question Description
Instructions— Your response should be approximately the word total suggested for each of the five questions. These guidelines are approximate; just be sure that the total is something like 500 words. The text must be double spaced, and printed on one side of a page, i.e., not on the front and back (the only two formatting requirements; there is a 2/3 letter grade penalty for noncompliance with either factor). For a heading on the paper, use whatever you like as long as your name is present.
1. In Hobbes’ view, how did men actually “covenant with every other man” as though they were to became “a real unity” (or at least unified enough to bring a society about)? In other words, what’s the actual means by which they really reach consent, i.e., achieve a social contract. (approx. 100 words.)
2. Explain how the Hobbesian state of nature is a prisoner’s dilemma. (approx. 100 words.)
3. Explain the non-excludability issue, and why it presents a problem to social contract theory. (approx. 75 words.)
4. In Rawls’ theory, explain the “difference principle,” and especially how it works in relation to the “veil of ignorance.” (100 words.)
5. What is the doctrine of double effect? Do you find it to be plausible? Why or why not? (approx. 125 words.)
You must proofread your paper. But do not strictly rely on your computer’s spell-checker and grammar-checker; failure to do so indicates a lack of effort on your part and you can expect your grade to suffer accordingly. Papers with numerous misspelled words and grammatical mistakes will be penalized. Read over your paper – in silence and then aloud – before handing it in and make corrections as necessary. Often it is advantageous to have a friend proofread your paper for obvious errors. Handwritten corrections are preferable to uncorrected mistakes.
Use a standard 10 to 12 point (10 to 12 characters per inch) typeface. Smaller or compressed type and papers with small margins or single-spacing are hard to read. It is better to let your essay run over the recommended number of pages than to try to compress it into fewer pages.
Likewise, large type, large margins, large indentations, triple-spacing, increased leading (space between lines), increased kerning (space between letters), and any other such attempts at “padding” to increase the length of a paper are unacceptable, wasteful of trees, and will not fool your professor.
The paper must be neatly formatted, double-spaced with a one-inch margin on the top, bottom, and sides of each page. When submitting hard copy, be sure to use white paper and print out using dark ink. If it is hard to read your essay, it will also be hard to follow your argument.

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