A Game Theoretic Account of Social Justice

  • Horace W. Brock

Abstract

The role in ethics of game theory proper (as opposed to decision theory) is discussed via an elucidation of a new theory of justice. The new theory integrates into a coherent whole two fundamental distributive norms: To Each According to his Needs; and to Each According to his Contribution. The theory incorporates a new account of ethics in terms of impartial decision — an account which dispenses with the need for a Veil of Ignorance construct. Also, the new theory does not require the use of interpersonal comparisons of utility at an operational level, even though such comparisons arise at a conceptual level. The reason for this lies in its relationship to game theoretical structures which do not entail interpersonal comparisons. Finally, the theory makes possible a new interpretation of two cooperative game solutions: The Nash solution, and the Generalized Shapley Value.

Keywords

Nash Defend Sonal Allo Stake 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Bibliography

  1. Arrow, Kenneth J.: 1978, ‘Extended sympathy and the possibility of social choice’, Philosophia VII, No. 2.Google Scholar
  2. Aumann, Robert J.: 1975, ‘Values of markets with a continuum of traders’, Econometria 43.Google Scholar
  3. Aumann, Robert J. and Mordecai Kurz: 1977, ‘Power and taxes in a multi-commodity market’, Israel Journal of Mathematics 27.Google Scholar
  4. Brock, Horace W.: 1977, ‘Unbiased representative decision-making: A study of invariance relationships in n-person valutaion theory’, Proceedings J.A.C.C.Google Scholar
  5. Brock, Horace W.: 1978, ‘A new theory of justice based on the mathematical theory of games’, appearing in: Game Theory and Political Science, edited by P. Ordeshook (New York University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  6. Brock, Horace W.: 1978a, ‘The role of symmetry groups in the representation and interpretation of alternative theories of fair distribution’, Proceedings of the Naval Postgraduate School Conference in Mathematics Linkages.Google Scholar
  7. Brock, Horace W.: 1978b, ‘The Shapley Value as a tool for the conceptual unification of economics, politics, and ethics’, Proceedings of the American Political Science Meetings.Google Scholar
  8. Brock, Horace W.: 1978c, ‘A critical discussion of the work of John C. Harsanyi’, Theory and Decision 9.Google Scholar
  9. Brock, Horace W.: 1979, ‘The problem of “utility weights” in group preference aggregation’, Operations Research (forthcoming).Google Scholar
  10. Harsanyi, John C.: 1953, ‘Cardinal utility in welfare economics and in the theory of risk- taking’, Journal of Political Economy 61.Google Scholar
  11. Harsanyi, John C.: 1955, ‘Cardinal welfare, individualistic ethics, and interpersonal comparisons of utility’, Journal of Political Economy 63.Google Scholar
  12. Harsanyi, John C.: 1958, ‘Ethics in terms of hypothetical imperatives’, Mind 67, pp. 305–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Harsanyi, John C.: 1961, ‘On the rationality postulates underlying the theory of cooperative games’, Journal of Conflict Resolution 5.Google Scholar
  14. Harsanyi, John C.: 1963, ‘A simplified bargaining model for the n-person cooperative game’, International Economic Review 4.Google Scholar
  15. Harsanyi, John C.: 1975, The tracing procedure: A Bayesian approach to defining a solution for n-person non-cooperative games’, International Journal of Game Theory 4.Google Scholar
  16. Harsanyi, John C.: 1975a, ‘Can the maximin principle serve as the basis for morality: A critique of John Rawls’ theory’, American Political Science Review 69.Google Scholar
  17. Harsanyi, John C.: 1977a, Rational Behavior and Bargaining Equilibrium in Games and Social Situations (Cambridge University Press, Cambridge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Harsanyi, John C.: 1977b, ‘Bayesian decision theory and utilitarian ethics’, Working Paper CP-404, Center for Research in Management Science, University of California, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  19. Harsanyi, John C.: 1978, ‘A solution theory for non-cooperative games and its Implications for cooperative games’, appearing in: Game Theory and Political Science, ed. by P. Ordeshook (New York University Press, New York).Google Scholar
  20. Kaneko, Mamoru and K. Nakamura: 1977, ‘The Nash social welfare function’, forthcoming in: Econometrica.Google Scholar
  21. Nozick, Robert: 1974, Anarchy, State and Utopia (Basic Books, New York).Google Scholar
  22. Rawls, John: 1971, A Theory of Justice (The Bellknap Press of Harvard University, Cambridge).Google Scholar
  23. Sen, Amartya: 1977, ‘On weights and measures: Informational constraints in social welfare analysis’, Econometrica 45, No. 7.Google Scholar
  24. Strasnick, Steven: 1975, Preference Priority and the Maximization of Social Welfare, Unpublished Ph.D. Thesis, Harvard University.Google Scholar
  25. Shapley, Lloyd S.: 1969, ‘Utility comparisons and the theory of games’, appearing in: La Decision: Aggregation et Dynamique des Ordres de Preference, ed. by G. Th. Guilbaud (Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris).Google Scholar
  26. Taylor, Charles: 1976, ‘Normative criteria of distributive justice’, Unpublished conference paper communicated to the author through the courtesy of Professor Daniel Bell of Harvard University.Google Scholar
  27. Wolff, Robert P.: 1977, Understanding Rawls (Princeton University Press, Princeton).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht, Holland, and Boston, U.S.A. 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • Horace W. Brock

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations