Scanlon rejects the Forfaiture view in favor of a Value of Choice account, which points out: “The reasons why individuals want what happens to them and their obligations to others and the obligations of others to them depend on how they react.” (Scanlon 2015, p. 106) From this point of view, it is the availability of the choice that counts, not if the agent has made a real choice. If I am told that I have to pick up my theatre tickets at a certain time and I do not pick them up in time, then I am responsible for missing the performance. What matters is that I had the opportunity to avoid this situation even though I did not make a conscious decision. (Scanlon 2015, p. 108) The central question for the contractualist presentation of the moral responsibility of reaction is: “What must be true for an agent to be identified with a certain attitude and therefore eligible for moral responses such as praise and guilt.” (Kumar 2015, p. 251) In the background, of course, are the traditional mysteries of free will and determinism. Can officers be held fairly responsible for acts or attitudes whose ultimate causes are beyond their control? It seems unfair to evaluate someone negatively for something they couldn`t control. For the contractualist, however, guilt goes beyond mere evaluation. Guilt is closely related to the meaning of actions and our relationships with others. “The importance of our interactions with others depends on what they consider to be the reasons for those interactions. We have reasons for not having an attitude of friendship or trust towards people whose attitude towards these attitudes makes us inappropriate. (Scanlon 2015, p.
93) Let us assume that public servants have done enough to reduce the risk. Leaflets were distributed to all households, radio, television and social media advertisements, newspaper advertisements, barriers erected around the excavation site, warnings at all entrances, etc. But now look at a citizen of the city (call her curious) who opposes. Warnings and barriers only serve to arouse their curiosity. The curious were not interested in hazardous waste before. But she is now developing the desire to see what it is. Curious, ignores warnings, climbs over barriers and exposes himself to a dangerous dose of dangerous chemicals. Some opponents of contractualism will say that contractualism is not pluralistic enough. They will oppose the unified narrative of injustice. Is it plausible that all the considerations relevant to what we owe each other are united by their relevance in determining whether the principle that permits the conduct can reasonably be rejected? In our moral examination of good and bad deeds, are all moral considerations relevant only in terms of how they affect whether or not a principle approving the proposed action is justified? A simple solution is to limit the scope of contractualism. If contractualism deals only with cases where the damage is certain, it does not have to face the risk at all.
We could then combine a contractual representation of certain damages with a utilitarian representation of the risks of damage. Unfortunately, this solution has high costs. Given the pervasiveness of risk and the relatively low scarcity of cases of certain harms, this pluralistic option effectively replaces contractualism. Questions of responsibility for content arise when we have to decide who carries which burdens. “Holding a person who has ultimately been burdened responsible for this burden in terms of content means keeping it to themselves, ceteris paribus. No one owes him to share or mitigate it. (Kumar 2015, p. 252) Kumar explains the contractual representation of material liability as follows. “A person who ends up being overwhelmed is responsible for the content if no one owes him to do more to be able to avoid it. Getting them not to be treated unfairly if they end up being burdened means blaming them in terms of content.
The reasons that are relevant to why she is not harmed are those that prove that she has good reason to want what happens to her in this kind of situation to depend on how she reacts to alternatives, and that enough has been done to ensure that dependence. (Kumar 2015, p. 253) The convergence argument does not explicitly deal with Scanlon`s own theory, but with “what I consider to be the best version of Scandinavian contractualism” (Parfit 2011, Volume 1, p. 412). Parfit defends two important “improvements” by rejecting two restrictions that Scanlon imposes on the reasons that can be advanced to reject a moral principle, namely: Although they are not relevant to admissibility, intentions affect the meaning of actions and thus how others are appropriate to respond to the agent. This brings us to Scanlon`s discussions about guilt and responsibility. Scanlon distinguishes between two forms of liability. A second simple solution is to bite the buck and insist that risky social activities are never allowed. Few entrepreneurs welcome this extreme revisionism. And this too threatens with insignificance. People will never completely abandon risk, and we naturally turn to ethical theory to guide us in our risky activities. If contractualism remains silent in this crucial area, then it loses all pretension to be of practical relevance.
Debates about future people are also linked to other recent controversies within contractualism, particularly the risk literature. The gap between ex post and ex ante justification is particularly important in cases without identity, where ex post justification may be offered to certain persons, while ex ante justification may only concern types of persons. Do contractual partners have to interpret their personal principles ex post or ex ante? (Weinberg defends an ex post interpretation in 2003 and 2015, albeit in a Rawlsian rather than Scandinavian setting; while Parfit clearly exposes the ex ante alternative in 2017.) As discussed in section 3.2, contractualism permits the reasonable rejection of principles for reasons other than their direct impact on the well-being of the individual […].