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Natural Justice / Edition 1

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Overview

This book lays out foundations for a "science of morals." Binmore uses game theory as a systematic tool for investigating ethical matters. He reinterprets classical social contract ideas within a game-theory framework and generates new insights into the fundamental questions of social philosophy. In contrast to the previous writing in moral philosophy that relied on vague notion such as " societal well-being" and "moral duty," Binmore begins with individuals; rational decision-makers with the ability to empathize with one another. Any social arrangement that prescribes them to act against their interests will become unstable and eventually will be replaced by another, until one is found that includes worthwhile actions for all individuals involved.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Ken Binmore has written a truly exciting book that derives moral principles of fairness, equity, and other behavior from evolutionary theory. In his theory, societies that hit on more efficient and 'fairer' equilibrium are more likely to survive through a combination of genetic and cultural selection. He is in my judgment appropriately highly critical of the rather arbitrary solutions to morality offered by Kant and some other philosophers. The book is innovative but controversial, and is truly a fresh and original approach written mainly in non-technical language. It should be widely read and discussed. I predict it will have a significant influence on discussions of moral principles in the future."—Gary S. Becker, University of Chicago and Nobel laureate in Economics

"Ken Binmore has written a lively, readable account of his social contract theory—shorn of technicalities and accessible to nonspecialists. Readers will be treated to fun and games in social philosophy for the 21st century." —Brian Skyrms, Professor of Philosophy, University of California, Irvine

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195178111
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 3/17/2005
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 10.00 (w) x 7.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Ken Binmore is a mathematician-turned-economist who has devoted his life to the theory of games and its applications in economics, evolutionary biology, psychology, and moral philosophy. He is best known for his part in designing the telecom auction that raised $35 billion for the British taxpayer, but his major research contributions are to the theory of bargaining and its testing in the laboratory. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He is the author of 12 books and some 90 research papers. He is Emeritus Professor of Economics at University College London.

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Table of Contents

Preface
1 Moral Science
2 Bargaining
3 Battle of the Isms
4 Equilibrium
5 Reciprocity
6 Duty
7 Kinship
8 Empathy
9 The Golden Rule
10 Utilitarianism
11 Egalitarianism
12 Planned Decentralization
Bibliography
Index

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