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Ken Binmore [44]Kenneth G. Binmore [1]
  1. Ken Binmore, Can Knowledge Be Justified True Belief? (Pdf 69k).
    Knowledge was traditionally held to be justified true belief. This paper examines the implications of maintaining this view if justication is interpreted algorithmically. It is argued that if we move sufficiently far from the small worlds to which Bayesian decision theory properly applies, we can steer between the rock of fallibilism and the whirlpool of skepticism only by explicitly building into our framing of the underlying decision problem the possibility that its attempt to describe the world is inadequate.
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  2. Ken Binmore, Experimental Economics: Science or What? (Pdf 293k).
    Where should experimental economics go next? This paper uses the literature on inequity aversion as a case study in suggesting that we could profit from tightening up our act.
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  3. Ken Binmore, Interpersonal Comparison of Utility (Pdf 138k).
    ’Tis vain to talk of adding quantities which after the addition will continue to be as distinct as they were before; one man’s happiness will never be another man’s happiness: a gain to one man is no gain to another: you might as well pretend to add 20 apples to 20 pears.
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  4. Ken Binmore, Making Decisions in Large Worlds (Pdf 141k).
    This paper argues that we need to look beyond Bayesian decision theory for an answer to the general problem of making rational decisions under uncertainty. The view that Bayesian decision theory is only genuinely valid in a small world was asserted very firmly by Leonard Savage [18] when laying down the principles of the theory in his path-breaking Foundations of Statistics. He makes the distinction between small and large worlds in a folksy way by quoting the proverbs ”Look before you (...)
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  5. Ken Binmore, The Origins of Fair Play (Pdf 209k).
    My answer to the question why? is relatively uncontroversial among anthropologists. Sharing food makes good evolutionary sense, because animals who share food thereby insure themselves against hunger. It is for this reason that sharing food is thought to be so common in the natural world. The vampire bat is a particularly exotic example of a food-sharing species. The bats roost in caves in large numbers during the day. At night, they forage for prey, from whom they suck blood if they (...)
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  6. Ken Binmore, Else News Release: Is Our Preference for Pretty People Pure Prejudice?
    The coverage is based on a research paper Insidious Discrimination? Disentangling the Beauty Premium on a Game Show which examined the strategic behaviour of participants on a Dutch TV game show Shafted.
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  7. Ken Binmore & Joseph Swierzbinski, An Experimental Test of Rubinstein's Bargaining Model.
    This paper offers an experimental test of a version of Rubinstein’s bargaining model in which the players’ discount factors are unequal. We find that learning, rationality, and fairness are all significant in determining the outcome. In particular, we find that a model of myopic optimization over time predicts the sign of deviations in the opening proposal from the final undiscounted agreement in the previous period rather well. To explain the amplitude of the deviations, we then successfully fit a perturbed version (...)
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  8. Ken Binmore, Experimental Economics: Where Next? Rejoinder.
    Our paper “Experimental Economics: Where Next?” contains a case study of Ernst Fehr and Klaus Schmidt’s work in which it is shown that the claims they make for the theory of inequity aversion are not supported by their data. The current issue of JEBO contains two replies, one from Fehr and Schmidt1 themselves, and the other from Catherine Eckel and Herb Gintis. Neither reply challenges any claims we make about matters of fact in our critique of Fehr and Schmidt on (...)
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  9. Ken Binmore, Game Theory and Institutions.
    This short paper begins with a summary of the views of a sympathetic game theorist on the current state of play in what is still called the New Institutional Economics. It continues with a much abbreviated summary of my own attempts to treat justice as a kind of institution in the hope that this will serve as a case study in how game theory can serve as a useful intellectual framework for the study of human institutions.
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  10. Ken Binmore, Interpersonal Comparison in Egalitarian Societies.
    When judging what is fair, how do we decide how much weight to assign to the conflicting interests of different classes of people? This subject has received some attention in a utilitarian context, but has been largely neglected in the case of egalitarian societies of the kind studied by John Rawls. My Game Theory and the Social Contract considers the problem for a toy society with only two citizens. This paper examines the theoretical difficulties in extending the discussion to societies (...)
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  11. Ken Binmore (2013). Modeling Justice as a Natural Phenomenon. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 36 (1):82-83.
    Among other things, Baumard et al.'s considers the enforcement and establishment of moral norms, the interpersonal comparison of welfare, and the structure of fairness norms. This commentary draws attention to the relevance of the game theory literature to the first and second topic, and the social psychology literature to the third topic.
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  12. Ken Binmore (2013). Sexual Drift. Biological Theory 8 (2):201-208.
    This paper uses a 4 × 4 expansion of the Hawk–Dove Game to illustrate how sexual drift in a large genotype space can shift a population from one equilibrium in a smaller phenotype space to another. An equilibrium is only safe from being destabilized in this way when implemented by recessive alleles.
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  13. Samir Okasha & Ken Binmore (eds.) (2012). Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Cooperation and Strategic Behaviour. Cambridge University Press.
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  14. Alex Voorhoeve, Ken Binmore & Lisa Stewart (2012). How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets. Journal of Risk and Uncertainty 45 (3):215-38.
    Experimental results on the Ellsberg paradox typically reveal behavior that is commonly interpreted as ambiguity aversion. The experiments reported in the current paper find the objective probabilities for drawing a red ball that make subjects indifferent between various risky and uncertain Ellsberg bets. They allow us to examine the predictive power of alternative principles of choice under uncertainty, including the objective maximin and Hurwicz criteria, the sure-thing principle, and the principle of insufficient reason. Contrary to our expectations, the principle of (...)
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  15. Ken Binmore (2011). Interpreting Knowledge in the Backward Induction Problem. Episteme 8 (3):248-261.
    Robert Aumann argues that common knowledge of rationality implies backward induction in finite games of perfect information. I have argued that it does not. A literature now exists in which various formal arguments are offered in support of both positions. This paper argues that Aumann's claim can be justified if knowledge is suitably reinterpreted.
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  16. Ken Binmore (2011). Rational Decisions. Princeton University Press.
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  17. Ken Binmore (2010). Social Norms or Social Preferences? Mind and Society 9 (2):139-157.
    Some behavioral economists argue that the honoring of social norms can be adequately modeled as the optimization of social utility functions in which the welfare of others appears as an explicit argument. This paper suggests that the large experimental claims made for social utility functions are premature at best, and that social norms are better studied as equilibrium selection devices that evolved for use in games that are seldom studied in economics laboratories.
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  18. Samir Okasha, Ken Binmore, Jonathan Grose & Cédric Paternotte (2010). Cooperation, Conflict, Sex and Bargaining. Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):257-267.
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  19. Ken Binmore (2009). Justice as a Natural Phenomenon. Think 8 (22):7-23.
  20. Ken Binmore (2009). Review Symposium. Journal of Economic Methodology 16 (2):207-219.
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  21. Ken Binmore (2009). The Origin of Fairness. In Alex Voorhoeve (ed.), Conversations on Ethics. Oxford University Press.
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  22. Ken Binmore (2008). Do Conventions Need to Be Common Knowledge? Topoi 27 (1-2):17-27.
    Do conventions need to be common knowledge in order to work? David Lewis builds this requirement into his definition of a convention. This paper explores the extent to which his approach finds support in the game theory literature. The knowledge formalism developed by Robert Aumann and others militates against Lewis’s approach, because it shows that it is almost impossible for something to become common knowledge in a large society. On the other hand, Ariel Rubinstein’s Email Game suggests that coordinated action (...)
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  23. Ken Binmore (2007). Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford.
    Games are everywhere: Drivers manoeuvring in heavy traffic are playing a driving game. Bargain hunters bidding on eBay are playing an auctioning game. A firm negotiating next year's wage is playing a bargaining game. The opposing candidates in an election are playing a political game. The supermarket's price for corn flakes is decided by playing an economic game. -/- Game theory is about how to play such games in a rational way. Even when the players have not thought everything out (...)
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  24. Ken Binmore (2006). Why Do People Cooperate? Politics, Philosophy and Economics 5 (1):81-96.
    Can people be relied upon to be nice to each other? Thomas Hobbes famously did not think so, but his view that rational cooperation does not require that people be nice has never been popular. The debate has continued to simmer since Joseph Butler took up the Hobbist gauntlet in 1725. This article defends the modern version of Hobbism derived largely from game theory against a new school of Butlerians who call themselves behavioral economists. It is agreed that the experimental (...)
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  25. Alex Voorhoeve & Ken Binmore (2006). Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-Making. Erkenntnis 64 (1):101-114.
    A persistent argument against the transitivity assumption of rational choice theory postulates a repeatable action that generates a significant benefit at the expense of a negligible cost. No matter how many times the action has been taken, it therefore seems reasonable for a decision-maker to take the action one more time. However, matters are so fixed that the costs of taking the action some large number of times outweigh the benefits. In taking the action some large number of times on (...)
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  26. Ken Binmore (2005). Economic Man – or Straw Man? Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):817-818.
    This commentary on the paper “Economic Man” in Cross-Cultural Perspective [20] is fiercely critical, but the criticism is not directed at the anthropological field work reported in the paper, which seems to me entirely admirable. The criticism is directed at the editorial rhetoric that accompanies the scientific reports of the experiments carried out in the fifteen small-scale societies studied. The rhetoric is markedly more subdued than in the book Foundations of Human Sociality [19] from which the current paper is extracted. (...)
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  27. Ken Binmore (2005). What Price the Moral High Ground? Ethical Dilemmas in Competitive Environments, by Robert H. Frank. Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2004, XII + 203 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 21 (2):309-311.
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  28. Ken Binmore (2004). A Review of Philip Mirowski's Machine Dreams. [REVIEW] Journal of Economic Methodology 11:477-482.
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  29. Ken Binmore (2004). Guillermo Owen's Proof Of The Minimax Theorem. Theory and Decision 56 (1-2):19-23.
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  30. Ken Binmore (2004). Reciprocity and the Social Contract. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (1):5-35.
    This article is extracted from a forthcoming book, ‘Natural Justice’. It is a nontechnical introduction to the part of game theory immediately relevant to social contract theory. The latter part of the article reviews how concepts such as trust, responsibility, and authority can be seen as emergent phenomena in models that take formal account only of equilibria in indefinitely repeated games. Key Words: game theory • equilibrium • evolutionary stability • reciprocity • folk theorem • trust • altruism • responsibility (...)
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  31. Ken Binmore (2001). How and Why Did Fairness Norms Evolve? Proceedings of the British Academy 110:149-170.
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  32. Kenneth G. Binmore (2001). John Broome, Ethics Out of Economics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999, Pp. 267. Utilitas 13 (01):127-.
  33. Ken Binmore (1999). Game Theory and Business Ethics. Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (1):31-35.
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  34. Ken Binmore (1998). Egalitarianism Versus Utilitarianism. Utilitas 10 (3):353-367.
    This paper is a comparative analysis of egalitarianism and utilitarianism from a naturalistic perspective that offers some insight into the manner in which we come to make interpersonal comparisons of welfare.
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  35. Ken Binmore (1997). Rationality and Backward Induction. Journal of Economic Methodology 4 (1):23-41.
    This paper uses the Centipede Game to criticize formal arguments that have recently been offered for and against backward induction as a rationality principle. It is argued that the crucial issues concerning the interpretation of counterfactuals depend on contextual questions that are abstracted away in current formalisms. I have a text, it always is the same, And always has been, Since I learnt the game. Chaucer, The Pardoner's Tale.
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  36. Ken Binmore (1997). Evolution of the Social Contract, Brain Skyrms. Cambridge University Press, 1996, Xii+ 143 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 13 (2):352-.
  37. Ken Binmore (1996). Right or Seemly? Analyse and Kritik 18 (1):67-80.
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  38. Edmund Arens, David Smith, Kenneth F. Barber, Jorge J. E. Gracia, Margaret Pabst Battin, Ken Binmore, Radu J. Bogdan & Zhang Boshu (1994). Appearance in This List Does Not Preclude a Future Review of the Book. Where They Are Known Prices Are Either in $ US or in£ UK. Abraham, Nicolas and Torok, Maria, The Shell and the Kernel: Renewals of Psychoanal-Ysis Volume 1, Nicholas T. Rand (Ed. And Trans.), Chicago, USA, The University of Chicago Press, 1994, Pp. 267,£ 35.95,£ 13.50. [REVIEW] Mind 103.
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  39. Ken Binmore (1991). Morality Within the Limits of Reason., Russell Hardin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, Xx + 219 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 7 (01):112-119.
  40. Ken Binmore (1988). Modeling Rational Players: Part II. Economics and Philosophy 4 (01):9-.
  41. Ken Binmore (1987). Modeling Rational Players: Part I. Economics and Philosophy 3 (02):179-.