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Natural Justice$
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Ken Binmore

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195178111

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178111.001.0001

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Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism

Chapter:
(p.147) Chapter 10 Utilitarianism
Source:
Natural Justice
Author(s):

Ken Binmore (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195178111.003.0010

If some external enforcement agency compels us to honor deals reached in the original position, then Harsanyi has shown that the outcome will be utilitarian. Under the same hypotheses, Rawls claims that the outcome will be egalitarian. This chapter confirms that Harsanyi is correct. It goes on to use the concept of an empathy equilibrium to predict the standard of interpersonal comparison needed to operate a utilitarian norm that will evolve in the medium run.

Keywords:   utilitarianism, enforcement, political legitimacy, original position, social evolution, empathy equilibrium

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