Contractarianism Video Analysis & The Prisoners Dilemma

1)complete the following video assignment, which explains what contractarianism is:

“Contractarianism” Video (Links to an external site.)

These questions must be answered in your own words, and pasting answers from the video or elsewhere will result in zero credit.

1.What is contractarianism? Give your own example of contractarianism in everyday life.

2.What is the Prisoner’s Dilemma, and how does it illustrate some possible problems with contractarianism?

3.In many ways, contractarianism is the opposite of utilitarianism. Utilitarianism says that it’s okay for a small number of people to be harmed, if this helps to bring happiness to a much greater majority. Using what you learned in the video, would contractarianism agree with this? Why or why not?

2)In order to answer these questions, you must read slides 22-30 on the Carruthers PowerPoint

4.Carruthers argues that since non-human animals are not rational, they cannot participate in the creation of systems of rules and rights (a social contract), and so they cannot have rights. This obviously raises some serious concerns about human beings who are not rational, e.g. persons with severe cognitive disabilities. How does Carruthers resolve these problems? In other words, why should we grant all humans (even non-rational ones) rights, but not animals?

5.Although Carruthers believes that only humans have moral status and rights, he still thinks we shouldn’t be cruel toward animals. What reason does he give for this view? In other words, why should we care about reducing animal suffering, even if we don’t think they have rights?

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