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  1. A Hobbesian Derivation of the Principle of Universalization.Michael Moehler - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):83-107.
    In this article, I derive a weak version of Kant's categorical imperative within an informal game-theoretic framework. More specifically, I argue that Hobbesian agents would choose what I call the weak principle of universalization, if they had to decide on a rule of conflict resolution in an idealized but empirically defensible hypothetical decision situation. The discussion clarifies (i) the rationality requirements imposed on agents, (ii) the empirical conditions assumed to warrant the conclusion, and (iii) the political institutions that are necessary (...)
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  • The Scope of Instrumental Morality.Michael Moehler - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):431-451.
    In The Order of Public Reason (2011a), Gerald Gaus rejects the instrumental approach to morality as a viable account of social morality. Gaus' rejection of the instrumental approach to morality, and his own moral theory, raise important foundational questions concerning the adequate scope of instrumental morality. In this article, I address some of these questions and I argue that Gaus' rejection of the instrumental approach to morality stems primarily from a common but inadequate application of this approach. The scope of (...)
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  • The "Inescapable" Prisoner's Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Hussein Haji - 1989 - Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
    Do the requirements of morality and those of rational self-interest dictate performance of the same acts in every particular situation? In this thesis I examine and evaluate various proposed answers to this age-old philosophical question. I focus on a particular kind of situation in which the two sorts of requirement seem to be at odds with one another. These are situations of contract-keeping that are prisoner's dilemma-like. In such situations, if you are moral, then it appears that you should comply (...)
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  • Years of Moral Epistemology: A Bibliography.Laura Donohue & Walter Sinnott-Armstrong - 1991 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 29 (S1):217-229.
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  • Preference's Progress: Rational Self-Alteration and the Rationality of Morality.Duncan Macintosh - 1991 - Dialogue 30 (1-2):3-32.
    I argue that Gauthier's constrained-maximizer rationality is problematic. But standard Maximizing Rationality means one's preferences are only rational if it would not maximize on them to adopt new ones. In the Prisoner's Dilemma, it maximizes to adopt conditionally cooperative preferences. (These are detailed, with a view to avoiding problems of circularity of definition.) Morality then maximizes. I distinguish the roles played in rational choices and their bases by preferences, dispositions, moral and rational principles, the aim of rational action, and rational (...)
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  • Reasons for Altruism.David Schmidtz - 1993 - Social Philosophy and Policy 10 (1):52-68.
    This essay considers whether acts of altruism can be rational. Rational choice, according to the standard instrumentalist model, consists of maximizing one's utility, or more precisely, maximizing one's utility subject to a budget constraint. We seek the point of highest utility lying within our limited means. The term ‘utility’ could mean a number of different things, but in recent times utility has usually been interpreted as preference satisfaction . To have a preference is to care , to want one alternative (...)
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  • Moral Rules as Public Goods.Edward F. McClennen - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (1):103-126.
    The kind of commitment to moral rules that characterizes effective interaction between persons in, among others places,manufacturing and commercial settings is characteristically treated by economists and game theorists as a public good, the securing ofwhich requires the expenditure of scarce resources on surveillance and enforcement mechanisms. Alternatively put, the view is that,characteristically, rational persons cannot voluntarily guide their choices by rules, but can only be goaded into acting in accordancewith such rules by the fear of social and formal sanctions. On (...)
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  • Planning and the Stability of Intention: A Comment.Laura DeHelian & Edward F. McClennen - 1993 - Minds and Machines 3 (3):319-333.
    Michael Bratman''s restricted two-tier approach to rationalizing the stability of intentions contrasts with an alternative view of planning, for which all of the following claims are made: (a) it shares with Bratman''s restricted two-tier approach the virtue of reducing the magnitude of Smart''s problem; (2) it, rather than the unrestricted two-tier approach, is what is argued for in McClennen (1990); (3) there does not appear to be anything in the central analysis that Bratman has provided of plans and intentions (both (...)
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  • Book Review. [REVIEW]Mark J. Machina - 1992 - Theory and Decision 33 (3):265-271.
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  • Orthodox Rational Choice Contractarianism: Before and After Gauthier.Michael Moehler - 2016 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 15 (2):113-131.
    In a recent article, Gauthier rejects orthodox rational choice contractarianism in favor of a revisionist approach to the social contract that, according to him, justifies his principle of maximin proportionate gain as a principle of distributive justice. I agree with Gauthier that his principle of maximin proportionate gain cannot be justified by orthodox rational choice contractarianism. I argue, however, that orthodox rational choice contractarianism, before and after Gauthier, is still a viable approach to the social contract, although the scope of (...)
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