These opinions in the Crito and in the Republic may seem at first glance incoherent: in the previous dialogue, Socrates shows, with a contractual argument of society, why he remains in prison for him, while in the latter treaty he refuses as a source of justice. These two points of view, however, are conciliatory. From Socrates` point of view, a righteous man is a man who, among other things, recognizes his commitment to the state by respecting his laws. The state is the most fundamental morally and politically fundamental unity and, as such, deserves our greatest loyalty and our deepest respect. Only men know this and act accordingly. But justice is more than just respect for the law, in exchange for respect for others. Justice is the state of a well-regulated soul, and the righteous man will therefore necessarily be the happy man. Justice is therefore more than mere mutual obedience to the law, as Glaucon proposes, but it nevertheless includes obedience to the state and the laws that support it. Although Plato may be the first philosopher to propose a presentation of the argument at the heart of the theory of the social contract, Socrates finally rejects the idea that the social contract is the original source of justice. How the treaty theorist models the parties to the agreement depends on our (real) problem and what is relevant to its solution.
A great gap between contemporary theories of the social contract is therefore to define the problem of justice. Interpretations of the fair problem are often distinguished between Hobbesians („contractors“) and kantonic interpretations („contractual“). These categories are imprecise and there are often as many differences within these two approaches as between them, but the distinction is nevertheless useful in isolating some key conflicts in contemporary social contract theory. Among the „contractuals“ who can be called – basically – the followers of Hobbes, the crucial task is to solve, as Gauthier (1991, 16) puts it, the „fundamental crisis“ of morality: deer hunting, Skyrms asserts, „should be a priority of the theory of social contracts“ (2004, 4). The question of deer hunting is not whether we fight or not, but whether we work together and win, or each one follows our own paths. There are two Nash balances in this game: both deer hunting and the two rabbit hunters. Alf and Betty, if they are in one of these balances, will comply if everyone consults only their own ranking of options. In a Nash balance, no individual has any reason to be defective.
Of course, the contract in which the two deer hunt is a better contract: it is superior to Pareto than the one in which they hunt the two rabbits. However, the balance of rabbits is more risky because it is a safer bet. Skyrms argues that the theory of iterated games cannot simply show that our parties are entering into a social contract, but how they can arrive at the cooperative contract advantageous to both parties. If we are lucky enough to play repetitive games, Skyrms stops, we can learn from Hume about „the shadow of the future“: „I learn to serve someone else without being very kind to him; Because I prefer that he will do my service while waiting for another of the same kind, and to maintain the same correspondence of good services with me and with others“ (Skyrms 2004, 5). Sugden, in different directions, also suggests that repeated interactions, what he calls „experience,“ are essential in determining which standards of social interaction actually apply over time (1986). Mills` central argument is that there is an even more fundamental „race treaty“ for Western society than the social contract. This racist treaty first determines who is considered a political and moral being, and thus defines the parameters that can be linked to the freedom and equality promised by the social contract.