The Insoluble Problem of the Social Contract*

David Braybrookea1

a1 Dalhousie University

The traditional problem of the social contract defies solution. Agents with the motivations traditionally assumed would not in the circumstances traditionally assumed voluntarily arrive at a contract or voluntarily keep it up, as we can now understand, more clearly than our illustrious predecessors, by treating the problem in terms not available to them: the terms of Prisoner's Dilemma and of the theory of public goods.