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Playing for RealGame Theory$
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Ken Binmore

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780195300574

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195300574.001.0001

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 Just Playing?

 Just Playing?

(p.543) 19 Just Playing?
Playing for Real

Ken Binmore (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter offers an approach to applying game theory to David Hume's ideas on moral philosophy. It begins by explaining how the Humean approach allows a different interpretation of experimental results in games like the Ultimatum Game compared to that taken for granted in classical economics. It then briefly reviews ideas from orthodox social choice theory as a preliminary to arguing that making interpersonal comparisons of utility is necessary for a full analysis of fairness norms. Harsanyi's theory of interpersonal comparison is then introduced. Harsanyi's utilitarian theory and Rawls' egalitarian theory are discussed. The chapter ends with an account of an experiment that is intended to illustrate how fairness norms may evolve over time.

Keywords:   David Hume, equilibrium selection problem, fairness norms, experimental game theory, Ultimatum Game, Arrow's paradox, Arrow's impossibility theorem, empathetic preference, utilitarian bargaining, egalitarian bargaining

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