Game Theory and the Social Contract, Volume 2: Just Playing

Overview

In Volume 1 of Game Theory and the Social Contract, Ken Binmore restated the problems of moral and political philosophy in the language of game theory. In Volume 2, Just Playing, he unveils his own controversial theory, which abandons the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant for the naturalistic approach to morality of David Hume. According to this viewpoint, a fairness norm is a convention that evolved to coordinate behavior on an equilibrium of a society's Game of Life. This approach allows Binmore to mount an ...

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Overview

In Volume 1 of Game Theory and the Social Contract, Ken Binmore restated the problems of moral and political philosophy in the language of game theory. In Volume 2, Just Playing, he unveils his own controversial theory, which abandons the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant for the naturalistic approach to morality of David Hume. According to this viewpoint, a fairness norm is a convention that evolved to coordinate behavior on an equilibrium of a society's Game of Life. This approach allows Binmore to mount an evolutionary defense of Rawls's original position that escapes the utilitarian conclusions that follow when orthodox reasoning is applied with the traditional assumptions. Using ideas borrowed from the theory of bargaining and repeated games, Binmore is led instead to a form of egalitarianism that vindicates the intuitions that led Rawls to write his Theory of Justice.Written for an interdisciplinary audience, Just Playing offers a panoramic tour through a range of new and disturbing insights that game theory brings to anthropology, biology,economics, philosophy, and psychology. It is essential reading for anyone who thinks it likely that ethics evolved along with the human species.

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What People Are Saying

From the Publisher
"Ken Binmore's Game Theory and the Social Contract is the mostimportant work in social philosophy since John Rawls' Theory ofJustice. It is highly original, insightful, and will be a focalpoint for social theory." Brian Skyrms , Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Professor of Economics, University of California, Irvine
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Product Details

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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Table of Contents

Apology
Series Foreword
Reading Guide
Acknowledgments
1 Introduction: Setting the Scene
1.1 Whither Away?
1.2 The Art of Compromise
1.3 Moral Philosophy
1.4 Noncooperative Game Theory
1.5 Cooperative Game Theory
1.6 Nash Program
1.7 Implementation
2 Nuances of Negotiation
2.1 Realistic Bargaining Models
2.2 Bargaining Problems
2.3 Bargaining Solutions
2.4 Characterizing Bargaining Solutions
2.5 Bargaining with Commitment
2.6 Trustless Transactions
2.7 Bargaining without Commitment
2.8 Other Approaches to Bargaining
3 Evolution in Eden
3.1 The Good, the Right, and the Seemly
3.2 Utilitarianism
3.3 Fictitious Postulatum?
3.4 Evolutionary Ethics
3.5 Evolution and Justice
3.6 Nonteleological Utilitarianism
3.7 Morality as a ShortRun Phenomenon
3.8 Why Not Utilitarianism?
4 Rationalizing Reciprocity
4.1 Backscratching
4.2 Rights in a Theory of the Seemly
4.3 Folk Theorem
4.4 Social Contracts in Big Societies
4.5 The Role of the Emotions
4.6 Due Process
4.7 Renegotiation
4.8 What about Moral Values?
5 Yearning for Utopia
5.1 Introduction
5.2 Envy
5.3 Equity in Economics
5.4 Equity in Psychology
5.5 Equity in Anthropology
5.6 The Game of Morals
5.7 Worthiness and Power
5.8 The Market and the Long Run
5.9 Unfinished Business
5.10 A Perfect Commonwealth?
5.11 Humean and Humane
Appendices
A Really Meaning It!
A.1 Naturalism
A.2 Modeling Man
B Harsanyi Scholarship
B.1 Introduction
B.2 Teleological Utilitarianism
B.3 Nonteleological Utilitarianism
C Bargaining Theory
C.1 Introduction
C.2 Alternating Offers Game
C.3Preferences
C.4 Stationary SubgamePerfect Equilibria
C.5 Nonstationary Equilibria
C.6 Generalized Nash Bargaining Solutions
C.7 Nash Program
Bibliography
IndeX
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