Playing with ethics: Games, norms and moral freedom

Topoi 24 (2):221-227 (2005)
Morality is serious yet it needs to be reconciled with the free play of alternatives that characterizes rational and ethical agency. Beginning with a sketch of the seriousness of morality modeled as a constraint, this paper introduces a technical conception of play as degrees of freedom. We consider two ways to apply game theory to ethics, rationalist and evolutionary game theory, contrasting the way they model moral constraint. Freedom in the rationalist account is problematic, subverting willful commitment. In the evolutionary account, freedom is also problematic, leading to an infinity of possible social norms with dubious normative force. While these two approaches complement each other, we argue that the evolutionary approach is superior on both theoretical and practical grounds.
Keywords Philosophy   Philosophy   Philosophy of Science   Philosophy of Technology
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-005-5057-1
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,974
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

44 ( #76,058 of 1,725,865 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #134,315 of 1,725,865 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.