Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 1: Playing Fair

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Overview

In Game Theory and the Social Contract, Ken Binmore argues that game theory provides a systematic tool for investigating ethical matters. His reinterpretation of classical social contract ideas within a game-theoretic framework generates new insights into the fundamental questions of social philosophy. He clears the way for this ambitious endeavor by first focusing on foundational issues -- paying particular attention to the failings of recent attempts to import game
-- theoretic ideas into social and political philosophy.Binmore shows how ideas drawn from the classic expositions of Harsanyi and Rawls produce a synthesis that is consistent with the modern theory of noncooperative games. In the process, he notes logical weaknesses in other analyses of social cooperation and coordination, such as those offered by Rousseau, Kant, Gauthier, and Nozick.
He persuasively argues that much of the current literature elaborates a faulty analysis of an irrelevant game.Game Theory and the Social Contract makes game-theoretic ideas more widely accessible to those with only a limited knowledge of the field. Instructional material is woven into the narrative, which is illustrated with many simple examples, and the mathematical content has been reduced to a minimum.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Note: CiP shows the title as Playing fair; game theory and..., but Binmore describes it as the first of two volumes of Game Theory and the Social Contract, the second to be titled Just Playing. Binmore argues that game theory provides a systematic tool for investigating ethical matters, and reinterprets classical social contract ideas within a game-theoretic framework. Accessible to those with only a limited knowledge of the field of game theory. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262023634
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 3/29/1994
  • Series: MIT Press Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 388
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Binmore is Emeritus Professor at University College London. A Fellow of the Econometric
Society and the British Academy, he is the author of Game Theory and the Social
Contract
, Volume 1: Playing Fair (1994) and Volume 2: Just
Playing
(1998), and the coeditor of Frontiers of Game Theory (1993),
all three published by The MIT Press.
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