Evolutionary and Institutional Economics Review

, Volume 15, Issue 2, pp 341–350 | Cite as

A note on discourse ethics and naturalized social contracts

  • Kiichiro YagiEmail author


Beginning the first section with Joseph Heath’s criticism on Jürgen Habermas’s discourse ethics, the author clarifies the structure of deontological ethics in its Kantian version and discourse ethics version. He argues that if we are not satisfied with a transcendental inference, we should take a naturalistic approach to the problem of ethics and norms. In the second section, he appreciates the game theoretic approach to the problematic social contract by Brian Skyrms and Kenneth Binmore. As a result of the historical evolution of a society, a naturalistic version of ethics (e.g., Binmore’s empathy equilibrium) comes to reflect historical heritage and then the dominant social structure. In the third section, he offers a scheme of the dual structure of the normative and real dimensions to grasp the problematic areas of the ethical problem. He explains these areas and maintains that a dual-dimension scheme can compensate for the partiality of both the idealist and naturalist directions.


Discourse ethics Kantian imperative Naturalized social contracts Dual structure of normative and real dimensions 

JEL Classification

A13 D63 D64 Z13 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest on this note.


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Copyright information

© Japan Association for Evolutionary Economics 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Setsunan UniversityNeyagawaJapan

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