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MENDEZ PINTO, Emilio. Hume on Social Contract Theory. Isonomía [online]. 2021, n.55, pp.84-117.  Epub Feb 28, 2022. ISSN 1405-0218.

In this article I propose a new interpretation of David Hume’s position on social contract theory. First, and acknowledging Hume’s critical stance on contractualism, I reject the reasons usually adduced to explain his position: empiricist methodology and utilitarianism. Instead, I argue that to fully understand Hume’s position on contractualism, one must take into account both a psychological methodology and a normative outlook. Second, I highlight Hume’s constructive proposals on the origin and foundation of government and justice, as well as the philosophical approach that he suggested when discussing politics, i.e., mediating between parties. As I argue in this article, these latter aspects of Hume’s political philosophy, often disregarded when examining his reasons against contractualism, are nevertheless essential to understand his views on social contract theory.

Keywords : David Hume; social contract theory; normativism; government; State.

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