Analyse & Kritik

Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory


"Ken Binmore"

Titel: Kitcher on Natural Morality
Autor: Ken Binmore
Seite: 129-139

Abstract: 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 communities. It continues by drawing attention to the relevance of Harsanyi’s theory of empathetic preferences in structuring the fairness criteria that evolved as one response to the equilibrium selection problem that the folk theorem demonstrates is endemic in our species.

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Titel: Justice as a Natural Phenomenon
Autor: Ken Binmore
Seite: 1-12

"He who understands Baboon would do more
towards metaphysics than John Locke." (Charles Darwin)

Abstract: This paper summarizes a theory of fairness that replaces the metaphysical foundations of the egalitarian theory of John Rawls and the utilitarian theory of John Harsanyi with evolutionary arguments. As such, it represents an attempt to realize John Mackie’s call for a theory based on the data provided by anthroplogists and the propositions proved by game theorists. The basic claim is that fairness norms evolved as a device for selecting one of the infinity of efficient equilibria of the repeated game of life played by our prehuman ancestors.

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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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Titel: Making Sense of Categorical Imperatives
Autor: Bernd Lahno
Seite: 71-82

Abstract: Naturalism, as Binmore understands the term, is characterized by a scientific stance on moral behavior. Binmore claims that a naturalistic account of morality necessarily goes with the conviction ’that only hypothetical imperatives make any sense’. In this paper it is argued that this claim is mistaken. First, as Hume’s theory of promising shows, naturalism in the sense of Binmore is very well compatible with acknowledging the importance of categorical imperatives in moral practice. Moreover, second, if Binmore’s own theory of moral practice and its evolution is correct, then the actual moral practice does and in fact must incorporate norms, which have the form of a categorical imperative. Categorical imperatives are part of social reality and, therefore, any (normative) moral theory that adequately reflects moral practice must also include categorical imperatives.

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Titel: Justice: Political Not Natural
Autor: Fabienne Peter
Seite: 83-88

Abstract: Ken Binmore casts his naturalist theory of justice in opposition to theories of justice that claim authority on the grounds of some religious or moral doctrine. He thereby overlooks the possibility of a political conception of justice a theory of justice based on the premise that there is an irreducible pluralism of metaphysical, epistemological, and moral doctrines. In my brief comment I shall argue that the naturalist theory of justice advocated by Binmore should be conceived of as belonging to one family of such doctrines, but not as overriding a political conception of justice.

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Titel: Binmore’s Egalitarianism
Autor: Christoph Schmidt-Petri
Seite: 89-94

Abstract: In this short commentary on Ken Binmore’s Natural Justice I primarily examine the relationship between mainstream egalitarian theories and Binmore’s ap- proach. I argue that Binmore uses key concepts in non-standard ways. As a result, he doesn’t engage enough with the views he criticises.

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Titel: Ken Binmore’s Natural Justice
Autor: Brian Skyrms
Seite: 99-101

Abstract: I raise a few questions about key points in the argument of Natural Jus- tice. 1. The pivotal role assigned to the theory of indefinitely repeated games appears to be both implausible and unnecessary. 2. The evolutionary foundations of the Nash bargaining solution are not completely secure, and its role in the account of interper- sonal comparisones of utility is questionable. 3. Free renegotiation behind the veil of ignorance appears neither to have an evolutionary rationale nor to be a brute fact about the way men are.

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Titel: On Kenneth Binmore’s Natural Justice
Autor: Douglass C. North
Seite: 102-103

Abstract: Ken Binmore has written an exciting book and I am in complete agreement with his ob jectives and conclusions. But his approach is flawed because of his reliance on tools of analysis to understand the way the mind and brain have developed that are not up to explaining our evolving understanding of the human environment.

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Titel: Natural Justice: Response to Comments
Autor: Ken Binmore
Seite: 111-117

Abstract: 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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Titel: Right or Seemly?
Autor: Ken Binmore
Seite: 67-80

Abstract: 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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Symposium zu Kenneth Binmores
2006 (28) Heft 1



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