Dissertation, University of Massachusetts Amherst (1989)

Authors
Ishtiyaque Haji
University of Calgary
Abstract
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 with an agreement to do the "cooperative thing." If you are rational, then it seems that you will do best for yourself if you refrain from cooperating. Reformulating the central question of this essay, is it rational in some sense of 'rational' to do the cooperative thing in, and so to "escape" a prisoner's dilemma? ;I begin with Hobbes and submit he would answer in the negative. In analysing Hobbes' position, I critically discuss Jean Hampton's and Gregory Kavka's views on Hobbes on state-of-nature cooperation. I then consider more recent replies paying particular attention to David Gauthier's. I argue that his defense of an affirmative reply--the desirable reply--is flawed. I arrive at a similar verdict about Edward McClennen's opinion. Finally, I advance my own conclusion--there may be situations in which people must act in a way that is either immoral or irrational
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 54,410
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

Morality and Advantage.David P. Gauthier - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (4):460-475.
Reason and Maximization.David Gauthier - 1975 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 4 (3):411 - 433.
Thomas Hobbes: Moral Theorist.David Gauthier - 1979 - Journal of Philosophy 76 (10):547-559.
The Visible Hand of Morality. [REVIEW]Peter Danielson - 1988 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 18 (2):357-384.

View all 18 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Rational Cooperation, Irrational Retaliation.Joe Mintoff - 1993 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 74 (4):362-380.
On a Problem for Contractarianism.Joe Mintoff - 1996 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 74 (1):98 – 116.
The Backward Induction Argument.John W. Carroll - 2000 - Theory and Decision 48 (1):61-84.
Evolution, Altruism, and the Prisoner's Dilemma.Ishtiyaque Haji - 1992 - Biology and Philosophy 7 (2):161-175.
The Altruists' Dilemma.Colin Grant - 2004 - Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (2):315-328.
Artificial Morality and Artificial Law.Lothar Philipps - 1993 - Artificial Intelligence and Law 2 (1):51-63.
Hobbes’ Reply to the Fool.David Gilboa - 2000 - Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 3.
Reasonable Utility Functions and Playing the Cooperative Way.Gerald F. Gaus - 2008 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 11 (2):215-234.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2015-02-05

Total views
11 ( #780,447 of 2,370,645 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #557,530 of 2,370,645 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes