Reflections on ethics and game theory

Synthese 141 (1):1 - 44 (2004)
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Abstract

Applications of game theory to moral philosophy are impededby foundational issues and troublesome examples. In the first part of this paper,questions are raised about the appropriate game-theoretical frameworks for applications to moralphilosophy and about the proper interpretations of the theoretical devices employed inthese frameworks. In the second part, five examples that should be of particular interest to thoseinterested in the connections between ethics and game theory are delineated and discussed. Thefirst example comprises games in which there is an outcome unanimously preferred to the``solution'' of the game, appropriately defined. The second comprises games whose solution callsfor different players to employ different strategies. The third comprises games whosesolution calls for players to adopt mixed strategies. The fourth comprises games whose solutionrequires players to cycle among a variety of strategies. The fifth comprises games whose solutionrequires players to discriminate in morally inappropriate ways.

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Steve Kuhn
Georgetown University

References found in this work

Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - Cambridge University Press.
Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1997 - Philosophy 72 (282):604-606.
Bargaining With Neighbors.Jason Alexander & Brian Skyrms - 1999 - Journal of Philosophy 96 (11):588-598.
Morality and Advantage.David P. Gauthier - 1967 - Philosophical Review 76 (4):460-475.

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