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Ken Binmore [65]Kenneth G. Binmore [1]
  1. Rational Decisions.Ken Binmore - 2011 - Princeton University Press.
    It is widely held that Bayesian decision theory is the final word on how a rational person should make decisions. However, Leonard Savage--the inventor of Bayesian decision theory--argued that it would be ridiculous to use his theory outside the kind of small world in which it is always possible to "look before you leap." If taken seriously, this view makes Bayesian decision theory inappropriate for the large worlds of scientific discovery and macroeconomic enterprise. When is it correct to use Bayesian (...)
     
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  2.  8
    Playing for Real: A Text on Game Theory.Ken Binmore - 2007 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Ken Binmore's previous game theory textbook, Fun and Games, carved out a significant niche in the advanced undergraduate market; it was intellectually serious and more up-to-date than its competitors, but also accessibly written. Its central thesis was that game theory allows us to understand many kinds of interactions between people, a point that Binmore amply demonstrated through a rich range of examples and applications. This replacement for the now out-of-date 1991 textbook retains the entertaining examples, but changes the organization to (...)
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  3. Ambiguity Attitudes, Framing and Consistency.Alex Voorhoeve, Ken Binmore, Arnaldur Stefansson & Lisa Stewart - 2016 - Theory and Decision 81 (3):313-337.
    We use probability-matching variations on Ellsberg’s single-urn experiment to assess three questions: (1) How sensitive are ambiguity attitudes to changes from a gain to a loss frame? (2) How sensitive are ambiguity attitudes to making ambiguity easier to recognize? (3) What is the relation between subjects’ consistency of choice and the ambiguity attitudes their choices display? Contrary to most other studies, we find that a switch from a gain to a loss frame does not lead to a switch from ambiguity (...)
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  4. Do Conventions Need to Be Common Knowledge?Ken Binmore - 2008 - 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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  5. Modeling Rational Players: Part I.Ken Binmore - 1987 - Economics and Philosophy 3 (2):179.
    Game theory has proved a useful tool in the study of simple economic models. However, numerous foundational issues remain unresolved. The situation is particularly confusing in respect of the non-cooperative analysis of games with some dynamic structure in which the choice of one move or another during the play of the game may convey valuable information to the other players. Without pausing for breath, it is easy to name at least 10 rival equilibrium notions for which a serious case can (...)
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  6.  91
    Why Do People Cooperate?Ken Binmore - 2006 - 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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  7.  55
    Social Norms or Social Preferences?Ken Binmore - 2010 - 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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  8.  94
    Transitivity, the Sorites Paradox, and Similarity-Based Decision-Making.Alex Voorhoeve & Ken Binmore - 2006 - 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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  9. How Much Ambiguity Aversion? Finding Indifferences Between Ellsberg's Risky and Ambiguous Bets.Ken Binmore, Lisa Stewart & Alex Voorhoeve - 2012 - 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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  10.  90
    Defending Transitivity Against Zeno’s Paradox.Ken Binmore & Alex Voorhoeve - 2003 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 31 (3):272–279.
    This article criticises one of Stuart Rachels' and Larry Temkin's arguments against the transitivity of 'better than'. This argument invokes our intuitions about our preferences of different bundles of pleasurable or painful experiences of varying intensity and duration, which, it is argued, will typically be intransitive. This article defends the transitivity of 'better than' by showing that Rachels and Temkin are mistaken to suppose that preferences satisfying their assumptions must be intransitive. It makes cler where the argument goes wrong by (...)
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  11. Game Theory and the Social Contract, Vol. II: Just Playing.Ken Binmore - 2001 - Mind 110 (437):168-171.
     
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  12.  26
    Game Theory and Business Ethics.Ken Binmore - 1999 - Business Ethics Quarterly 9 (1):31-35.
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  13.  50
    Rationality and Backward Induction.Ken Binmore - 1997 - 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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  14.  37
    Modeling Rational Players: Part II.Ken Binmore - 1988 - Economics and Philosophy 4 (1):9.
    This is the second part of a two-part paper. It can be read independently of the first part provided that the reader is prepared to go along with the unorthodox views on game theory which were advanced in Part I and are summarized below. The body of the paper is an attempt to study some of the positive implications of such a viewpoint. This requires an exploration of what is involved in modeling “rational players” as computing machines.
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  15.  25
    Game Theory: A Very Short Introduction.Ken Binmore - 2007 - Oxford University Press.
    Games are played everywhere: from economics and online auctions to social interactions, and game theory is about how to play such games in a rational way, and how to maximize their outcomes. This VSI reveals, without mathematical equations, the insights the theory can bring to everything from how to play poker optimally to the sex ratio among bees.
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  16. Playing for Real Coursepack Edition: A Text on Game Theory.Ken Binmore - 2012 - Oxford University Press USA.
    Playing for Real is a problem-based textbook on game theory that has been widely used at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. This Coursepack Edition will be particularly useful for teachers new to the subject. It contains only the material necessary for a course of ten, two-hour lectures plus problem classes and comes with a disk of teaching aids including pdf files of the author's own lecture presentations together with two series of weekly exercise sets with answers and two sample (...)
     
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  17. Evolution and Rationality: Decisions, Cooperation and Strategic Behaviour.Samir Okasha & Ken Binmore (eds.) - 2012 - Cambridge University Press.
    This volume explores from multiple perspectives the subtle and interesting relationship between the theory of rational choice and Darwinian evolution. In rational choice theory, agents are assumed to make choices that maximize their utility; in evolution, natural selection 'chooses' between phenotypes according to the criterion of fitness maximization. So there is a parallel between utility in rational choice theory and fitness in Darwinian theory. This conceptual link between fitness and utility is mirrored by the interesting parallels between formal models of (...)
     
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  18.  93
    Cooperation, Conflict, Sex and Bargaining.Samir Okasha, Ken Binmore, Jonathan Grose & Cédric Paternotte - 2010 - Biology and Philosophy 25 (2):257-267.
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  19. Reciprocity and the Social Contract.Ken Binmore - 2004 - 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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  20.  93
    Interpersonal Comparison of Utility (Pdf 138k).Ken Binmore - manuscript
    ’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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  21.  66
    Making Decisions in Large Worlds (Pdf 141k).Ken Binmore - manuscript
    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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  22.  55
    The Origins of Fair Play (Pdf 209k).Ken Binmore - manuscript
    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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  23.  55
    Interpersonal Comparison in Egalitarian Societies.Ken Binmore - unknown
    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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  24. A Review of Philip Mirowski's Machine Dreams. [REVIEW]Ken Binmore - 2004 - Journal of Economic Methodology 11:477-482.
     
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  25.  23
    Kitcher on Natural Morality.Ken Binmore - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):129-139.
    This commentary on Philip Kitcher’s Ethical Project compares his theory of the evolution of morality with my less ambitious theory of the evolution of fairness norms that seeks to flesh out John Mackie’s insight that one should use game theory as a framework within which to assess anthropological data. It lays particular stress on the importance of the folk theorem of repeated game theory, which provides a template for the set of stable social contracts that were available to ancestral hunter-gatherer (...)
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  26. Experimental Economics: Science or What? (Pdf 293k).Ken Binmore - manuscript
    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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  27.  95
    Egalitarianism Versus Utilitarianism.Ken Binmore - 1998 - 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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  28. Justice as a Natural Phenomenon.Ken Binmore - 2009 - Think 8 (22):7-23.
    This article is my latest attempt to come up with a minimal version of my evolutionary theory of fairness, previously summarized in my book Natural Justice. The naturalism that I espouse is currently unpopular, but Figure 1 shows that the scientific tradition in moral philosophy nevertheless has a long and distinguished history. John Mackie's Inventing Right and Wrong is the most eloquent expression of the case for naturalism in modern times. Mackie's demolition of the claims made for a priori reasoning (...)
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  29.  95
    Economic Man – or Straw Man?Ken Binmore - 2005 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 28 (6):817-818.
    The target article by Henrich et al. describes some economic experiments carried out in fifteen small-scale societies. The results are broadly supportive of an approach to understanding social norms that is commonplace among game theorists. It is therefore perverse that the rhetorical part of the paper should be devoted largely to claiming that “economic man” is an experimental failure that needs to be replaced by an alternative paradigm. This brief commentary contests the paper's caricature of economic theory, and offers a (...)
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  30.  93
    Experimental Economics: Where Next? Rejoinder.Ken Binmore - unknown
    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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  31.  92
    Can Knowledge Be Justified True Belief? (Pdf 69k).Ken Binmore - manuscript
    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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  32.  85
    Game Theory and Institutions.Ken Binmore - unknown
    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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  33.  2
    Natural Justice: Response to Comments.Ken Binmore - 2006 - Analyse & Kritik 28 (1):111-117.
    The following responses to the scholars who were kind enough to comment on my Natural Justice in this symposium have been kept to a minimum by addressing only issues where I think a misunderstanding may have arisen.
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  34.  20
    A Minimal Extension of Bayesian Decision Theory.Ken Binmore - forthcoming - Theory and Decision.
  35.  9
    Right or Seemly?Ken Binmore - 1996 - Analyse & Kritik 18 (1):67-80.
    This paper suggests that rights are best seen as being part of the description of a social state rather than as constituents of the mechanism by means of which society selects a social state, A theory of this kind is outlined in which a social state is modeled as an equilibrium in the game of life played by the citizens of a society.
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  36.  41
    Interpreting Knowledge in the Backward Induction Problem.Ken Binmore - 2011 - 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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  37.  42
    John Broome, Ethics Out of Economics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1999, Pp. 267.Kenneth G. Binmore - 2001 - Utilitas 13 (1):127.
  38.  22
    Guillermo Owen's Proof Of The Minimax Theorem.Ken Binmore - 2004 - Theory and Decision 56 (1-2):19-23.
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  39.  43
    Evolution of the Social Contract, Brian Skyrms. [REVIEW]Ken Binmore - 1997 - Economics and Philosophy 13 (2):352-354.
  40.  25
    Sexual Drift.Ken Binmore - 2013 - 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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  41.  15
    Life and Death.Ken Binmore - 2016 - Economics and Philosophy 32 (1):75-97.
  42. Modeling Rational Players: Part I: Ken Binmore.Ken Binmore - 1987 - Economics and Philosophy 3 (2):179-214.
    Game theory has proved a useful tool in the study of simple economic models. However, numerous foundational issues remain unresolved. The situation is particularly confusing in respect of the non-cooperative analysis of games with some dynamic structure in which the choice of one move or another during the play of the game may convey valuable information to the other players. Without pausing for breath, it is easy to name at least 10 rival equilibrium notions for which a serious case can (...)
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  43.  5
    Patrick Suppes and Game Theory.Ken Binmore - 2016 - Journal of Economic Methodology 23 (3):241-251.
    This article is a contribution to a symposium celebrating the life of Patrick Suppes. It describes the context in which he made contributions relevant to two extremes of the game theory spectrum. At one extreme, he made an experimental study of whether laboratory subjects learn to use Von Neumann’s minimax theory in games of pure conflict. At the other extreme, he invented a theory of empathetic identification that lies at the root of an approach to making interpersonal comparisons needed for (...)
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  44.  12
    Evolutionary Ethics.Ken Binmore - 1998 - Vienna Circle Institute Yearbook 5:277-283.
    Philosophers used to say that all their endeavours were merely a footnote to Plato. In ethics, this is still largely true.
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  45.  29
    Else News Release: Is Our Preference for Pretty People Pure Prejudice?Ken Binmore - unknown
    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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  46. Modeling Rational Players: Part II: Ken Binmore.Ken Binmore - 1988 - Economics and Philosophy 4 (1):9-55.
    This is the second part of a two-part paper. It can be read independently of the first part provided that the reader is prepared to go along with the unorthodox views on game theory which were advanced in Part I and are summarized below. The body of the paper is an attempt to study some of the positive implications of such a viewpoint. This requires an exploration of what is involved in modeling “rational players” as computing machines.
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  47.  7
    Brian Skyrms: Evolution of the Social Contract. [REVIEW]Ken Binmore - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (4):652-654.
  48.  15
    An Experimental Test of Rubinstein's Bargaining Model.Ken Binmore & Joseph Swierzbinski - unknown
    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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  49.  14
    Morality Within the Limits of Reason., Russell Hardin. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1988, Xx + 219 Pages. [REVIEW]Ken Binmore - 1991 - Economics and Philosophy 7 (1):112-119.
  50.  6
    Modeling Justice as a Natural Phenomenon.Ken Binmore - 2013 - 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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