Major Department



College of Liberal Arts & Sciences


BA (Bachelor of Arts)

Session and Year of Graduation

Fall 2017

Honors Major Advisor

Carrie Figdor

Thesis Mentor

Diane Jeske


The goal of this paper is to evaluate a few alternative responses in the defense of rational egoism. I begin by exploring Galucon’s challenge to Socrates in Plato’s Republic as a goal to measure various theories against. Next, I discuss Thomas Hobbes’ theory of contracts and the necessity of a commonwealth and his “fools” objection, as presented in Leviathan. Then, I turn to David Gauthier and examine in depth his argument for constrained maximization in Morals by Agreement. I contend that in an attempt to provide a satisfactory response to both Glaucon and the Fool, Gauthier opens himself up to several major problems. I conclude by providing my own view, Cooperative Capital Contractarianism, and expanding on how it can effectively respond to the problems facing Gauthier’s view.

Total Pages

49 pages


Copyright © 2017 Nathan Davis