On Playing Fair: Professor Binmore on Game Theory and the Social Contract

Theory and Decision 43 (3):219-239 (1997)
This paper critically reviews Ken Binmore’s non- utilitarian and game theoretic solution to the Arrow problem. Binmore’s solution belongs to the same family as Rawls’ maximin criterion and requires the use of Nash bargaining theory, empathetic preferences, and results in evolutionary game theory. Harsanyi has earlier presented a solution that relies on utilitarianism, which requires some exogenous valuation criterion and is therefore incompatible with liberalism. Binmore’s rigorous demonstration of the maximin principle for the first time presents a real alternative to a utilitarian solution
Keywords Social contract  maximin principle  game theory  Arrow problem  social justice  Rawls
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