For a bunch of geeks like us who are interested in ethics and doing the right thing, I'm surprised to see so few mentions of T. M. Scanlon on the EA Forum. Is there any particular reason for this, or is it just the general explanation of Scanlon not being heavily referenced by Toby Ord, Will MaCaskill, or Peter Singer, and therefore is not referenced much by EAs?
Here is the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy article on contractualism, in case anyone wants to read some more. To be clear, I am no expert on Scanlon. I hadn't even heard of Scanlon and contractualism before reading How to Be Perfect, a playful book about ethics by the creator of the much-loved-by-EAs show The Good Place.
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EDIT: I've decided to track my changing thinking via edits. Here are some of my current best guesses as to contributing factors.
Factor 1: This is somewhat indicative of a characteristic of EAs: we dabble in ethics just enough to feel justified in our actions using utility and expected value, and then we move forward with a project/task/venture (with vague gestures toward cluelessness and uncertainty).
Factor 2: Scanlon isn't nearly as influential as How to Be Perfect suggests. He doesn't show up on lists of the most influential moral philosophers.
Factor 3: EAs want something that feels more objective/rigorous than the fuzzy "reasonableness" that forms a core of Scanlon's ideas.
Factor 4: Scanlon's ideas don't provide much in regards to what we should do, and instead focus on what actions we should avoid.
Actually, outside of the forum also. I haven't heard anyone mention T. M. Scanlon or contractualism at all.