I have thought about the problems of rationality and morality for a long time during which I have accumulated many debts. The largest is owed to David Gauthier, who encouraged me to pursue the question of fundamental moral justification. I have learned much from David’s work. This book began as an attempt to implement his principle of constrained maximization. These goals changed during the project’s long gestation as criticisms and replies, bugs and fixes accreted and displaced older material. If the criticisms of Morals by Agreement stand out, this reflects how strongly I feel the influence of this masterful piece of work.
I owe special thanks to two colleagues at York University. Peter Roosen-Runge introduced me to computers some fifteen years ago and has supplied me since with infusions of new ideas, languages, machines and courses to teach. Some of the material developed here is a joint product of our weekly lunches and ongoing computer-assisted correspondence. Not only do I appropriate this material but systematically turn it in directions that Peter finds fantastic, if not perverse. Stuart Shanker got me started with his invitation to write a book for this series.
Les Green, Chris Morris, Peter Roosen-Runge and Wayne Sumner read the first draft and suggested many improvements. David Copp, Steve Savitt and Peter Vallentyne also commented helpfully on the first draft. My research assistant, Blair McDonald, proofread a second draft. Two anonymous readers read the second draft and suggested many improvements. Some of these readers disagree with much of what I say. In any case, they bear no responsibility for what follows.
Robert Axelrod, David Gauthier, Chris Morris, Jean Hampton, Richmond Campbell, Howard Sobel and Holly Smith supplied unpublished material from which I learned a great deal. The free software community deserves recognition for providing almost all