Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Constraint Games and the Orthodox Theory of Rationality*

  • R. Eric Barnes (a1)
Abstract

Moral theorists and game theorists are both interested in situations where rational agents are ‘called upon’ to constrain their future actions and co-operate with others instead of being free riders. These theorists have constructed a variety of hypothetical games which illuminate this problem of constraint. In this paper, I draw a distinction between ‘behaviour games’ like the Newcomb paradox and ‘disposition games’ like Kavka's toxin puzzle, a prisoner's dilemma and Parfit's hitchhiker example. I then employ this distinction to argue that agents who subscribe to the orthodox theory of rationality do significantly better in disposition games than those who subscribe to revisionist theories like David Gauthier's, while revisionist agents do marginally better in behaviour games. I argue that because of agents' ability to manipulate their own weakness of will, orthodox agents do better at all of these games than has previously been thought. And, by elucidating the distinction between behaviour games and disposition games, I uncover the virtues that underlie the success of each theory of rationality.

    • Send article to Kindle

      To send this article to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

      Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

      Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

      Constraint Games and the Orthodox Theory of Rationality*
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Dropbox

      To send this article to your Dropbox account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Dropbox account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

      Constraint Games and the Orthodox Theory of Rationality*
      Available formats
      ×
      Send article to Google Drive

      To send this article to your Google Drive account, please select one or more formats and confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your Google Drive account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

      Constraint Games and the Orthodox Theory of Rationality*
      Available formats
      ×
Copyright
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

Edward McClennen , Rationality and Dynamic Choice, Cambridge, 1990

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Utilitas
  • ISSN: 0953-8208
  • EISSN: 1741-6183
  • URL: /core/journals/utilitas
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 4 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 158 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 27th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.