Pure and Utilitarian Prisoner's Dilemmas

Economics and Philosophy 11 (2):333-343 (1995)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The prisoner 's dilemma game has acquired large literatures in several disciplines. It is surprising, therefore, that a good definition of the game is hard to find. Typically an author relates a story about captured criminals or military rivals, provides a particular payoff matrix and asserts that the PD is characterized, or illustrated, by that matrix. In the few cases in which characterizing conditions are given, the conditions, and the motivations for them, do not always agree with each other or with the paradigm examples elsewhere. In this paper we describe several varieties of PD's. In particular, we suggest there are two distinctions among PD's with philosophical significance, the pure/impure and the utilitarian/nonutilitarian distinctions. In the first section, we explain and characterize the two distinctions. In the second, we discuss an issue of moral philosophy that illustrates the significance of the former.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,150

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Prisoner's dilemma.Steven Kuhn - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Modelling reciprocal altruism.Christopher Stephens - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (4):533-551.
An Analysis of "The Hobbes Game".Lee C. Archie - 1995 - Teaching Philosophy 18 (3):257-268.
An Analysis of.Lee C. Archie - 1995 - Teaching Philosophy 18 (3):257-268.


Added to PP

273 (#74,669)

6 months
150 (#22,690)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Steve Kuhn
Georgetown University

References found in this work

The Republic.Paul Plato & Shorey - 2000 - ePenguin. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.
The Republic. Plato & Benjamin Jowett - 1894 - Arlington Heights, Ill.: Courier Dover Publications. Edited by Cynthia Johnson, Holly Davidson Lewis & Benjamin Jowett.
Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory.Gregory S. Kavka - 1986 - Princeton University Press.
The Republic. Plato & Sir Henry Desmond Pritchard Lee - 2003 - Arlington Heights, Ill.: Penguin Books. Edited by Henry Desmond Pritchard Lee.

View all 9 references / Add more references