Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Jonathan Riley"

Titel: Genes, Memes and Justice
Autor: Jonathan Riley
Seite: 32-56

Abstract: Ken Binmore argues that justice consists in a proportional bargaining equi- librium of a ’game of morals’, which corresponds to a Nash bargaining equilibrium of a ’game of life’. His argument seems unassailable if rational agents are predominantly self-interested, an assumption that he is apparently willing to make on the grounds that human behaviour is ultimately constrained in accord with the selfish gene paradigm. But there is no compelling scientific evidence for that paradigm. Rather, human nature appears to be highly plastic. If so, rational agents might eventually be moulded by cultural forces into social and moral actors who effectively believe that they are the same person no different from anyone else when it comes to certain vital personal interests which ought to be treated as rights. In this context, a utilitarian outcome is an efficient and fair equilibrium of the game of life. Compliance with the rules is enforced by the actor’s own conscience, a powerful internal ’judicious spectator’ which threatens to inflict harsh punishment in the form of intense feelings of guilt for cheating.

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