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This response meant that the limits of the government`s power were set by the original agreement. The formulations of social contracts are preserved in many of the oldest documents in the world. [8] The second-century BC Buddhist text, Mahāvastu, tells the legend of Mahasammata. The story is this: the level at which the object of the contract is described can influence the outcome of the agreement. “A striking feature from Hobbes` point of view,” Hardin points out, “is that this is a relative assessment of entire states. Living in a form of government versus living under anarchy” (2003, 43). Hobbes could plausibly argue that everyone would agree with the social contract because “life under government” is better than “living under anarchy” (the basic condition) from everyone`s point of view. However, when a Hobbesian woman tries to divide the contract into finer agreements on the different functions of government, she is inclined to find that an agreement on many functions would not be concluded. If we “zoom” (Lister, 2010) on finer government functions, the contract tends to become more limited. If parties simply ask themselves whether government is better than anarchy, they will opt for almost any government (including, for example, a government that funds the arts); When they think about whether or not to have a government that funds the arts, it`s easy to see how they can disagree on the former. Similarly, when parties reflect on entire moral codes, there may be a broad consensus that all moral codes as a whole are in the interest of all; When we “zoom” in on certain rights and obligations, we get a very different answer.

Virginia Held argued that “contemporary Western society is plagued by contractual thinking” (193). Contract models have now come to the forefront to inform a variety of relationships and interactions between people, from students and their teachers to authors and their readers. Given this fact, it would be difficult to overestimate the impact of social contract theory both in philosophy and on culture at large. The theory of social contracts is undoubtedly with us for the foreseeable future. But also the critique of such a theory, which will continue to force us to think and rethink the nature of ourselves and our relationships with each other. .

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