As Rawls acknowledged in his 1958 essay «Justice for Fairness,» one way for the parties to resolve their differences is to apply negotiated solutions, such as those proposed by R.B Braithwaite (1955). Rawls himself rejected negotiated solutions for the social contract because he believed that these solutions were based on threat benefits and that «everyone is hardly a principle of fairness under its threat advantage» (Rawls 1958, 58n). Gauthier, however, adopted this approach and built his morals by agreeing on Kalai Smorodinsky`s negotiated solution (see also Gaus 1990, B.C. IX). Binmore (2005) recently developed a version of the social contract theory based on Nash`s negotiated solution, as did Ryan Muldoon (2017), while Moehler is (shortly) banking on a negotiated «stabilized» Nash solution. Since then, Gauthier has taken a less formal approach to negotiations, which is nevertheless closer to its original solution than that of Nash (2013). In addition to Rawls` concern about the threat advantage, the disadvantage of all these approaches is the multiplicity of negotiated solutions that can vary considerably. Although Nash is now the most preferred solution, it can have counterintuitive effects. In addition, there are many people who argue that negotiated solutions are inherently indeterminate, so the only way to get the determination is to make unrealistic or controversial assumptions (Sugden 1990, 1991). Similar problems arise with regard to the selection of balance in the games (see Vanderschraaf 2005 and Harsanyi and Rare 1988). The level at which the purpose of the contract is described may influence the outcome of the agreement. «A striking feature of The Hobbes View,» says Hardin, «is that it is a relative assessment of the entire states. Living in a form of government against life under anarchy» (2003, 43).
Hobbes could plausibly say that everyone would approve of the social contract, because «life under government» is better from the point of view of all than «life under anarchy» (the starting condition). However, if a Hobbesian tried to divide the contract into, say, more precise agreements on the various functions of government, she is inclined to find that an agreement would not be reached in many functions. As we «zoom in» (Lister, 2010) on more government fine-grain functions, the contract is likely to become more limited.