Essays on Ethics, Social Behavior, and Scientific by J.C. Harsanyi

By J.C. Harsanyi

When John Harsanyi got here to Stanford college as a candidate for the Ph.D., I requested him why he used to be bothering, because it was once such a lot un­ most probably that he had something to profit from us. He used to be already a identified scho­ lar; as well as a few papers in economics, the 1st papers during this vol­ ume had already been released and had dazzled me via their originality and their blend of philosophical perception and technical competence. besides the fact that, i'm very completely satisfied i didn't discourage him; no matter if he discovered any­ factor useful i do not be aware of, yet all of us realized a lot from him at the foundations of the idea of video games and particularly at the consequence of bar­ gaining. The primary concentration of Harsanyi's paintings has persisted to be within the concept of video games, yet specially at the foundations and conceptual difficulties. the speculation of video games, effectively understood, is a really large method of social interplay in response to separately rational habit, and it connects heavily with primary methodological and sizeable matters in social technological know-how and in ethics. a sign of the variety of Harsanyi's curiosity in online game the­ ory are available within the first paper of half B -though in truth his owncontri­ butions are a lot broader-and within the moment paper the purposes to the technique of social technology. the rest papers in that part convey extra particularly the richness of online game idea in particular applications.

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Extra resources for Essays on Ethics, Social Behavior, and Scientific Explanation

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I have nothing to add to Little's conclusion on the possibility of interpersonal comparisons of utility. I only want to supplement his argument by an analysis of the logical basis of such comparisons. I shall deal with the problem of comparisons between total utilities only, neglecting the problem of comparisons between differences in utility, since the social welfare functions discussed in the previous sections contain only total utilities of individuals. 21 Even identical preferences among uncertain prospects (satisfying the Marschak axioms) are compatible with different absolute levels of utility, since they do not uniquely determine the zero points and the scales of the corresponding cardinal utility functions.

25 case of hypothetical imperatives of the formal type, viz. the case where the criterion to be satisfied is that of causal efficiency in producing a certain desired effect. The existence of non-causal hypothetical imperatives removes an important objection to the view that moral rules are hypothetical imperatives. g. the production of pleasure). But one need not be a strict utilitarian to think that moral rules prescribe patterns of behaviour which satisfy certain formal criteria. II I propose first to show that non-moral imperatives are always hypothetical imperatives.

NOTE * Mind, 67 (1958), 305-316. See W. Kneale, 'Objectivity in Morals', Philosophy, April 1950, pp. 149-166; R. Firth, 'Ethical Absolutism and the Ideal Observer', Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, March 1952, pp. 317-345; and J. N. Findlay, 'The Justification of AttitUdes', Mind, April 1954, pp. 145-161. I CHAPTER 'V CAN THE MAXIMIN PRINCIPLE SERVE AS A BASIS FOR MORALITY? A CRITIQUE OF JOHN RAWLS'S THEORY*§ I. INTRODUCTION John Rawls's A Theory of Justice' is an important book. It is an attempt to develop a viable alternative to utilitarianism, which up to now in its various forms was virtually the only ethical theory proposing a reasonably clear, systematic, and purportedly rational concept of morality.

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