Just Society as a Fair Game: John Rawls and Game Theory in the 1950s

Just Society as a Fair Game: John Rawls and Game Theory in the 1950s ABSTRACT: I explore the influence of game theory on the political philosopher John Rawls as a way of analyzing the character of his democratic thought. Recent narratives bring Rawls closer to direct democracy as a result of game theory’s influence. I argue that game theory prompted creative, organic developments in Rawls’s political framework rather than shaping it. It prompted Rawls to emphasize autonomy and fairness, leading him to the analogy between a just society and a fair game. And it prompted thought experiments that analyzed our considered judgments. This was an idealized analysis unconnected to the vision of direct democracy. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of the History of Ideas University of Pennsylvania Press

Just Society as a Fair Game: John Rawls and Game Theory in the 1950s

Journal of the History of Ideas, Volume 78 (2) – Mar 31, 2017

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 The Journal of the History of Ideas, Inc.
ISSN
1086-3222
Publisher site
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Abstract

ABSTRACT: I explore the influence of game theory on the political philosopher John Rawls as a way of analyzing the character of his democratic thought. Recent narratives bring Rawls closer to direct democracy as a result of game theory’s influence. I argue that game theory prompted creative, organic developments in Rawls’s political framework rather than shaping it. It prompted Rawls to emphasize autonomy and fairness, leading him to the analogy between a just society and a fair game. And it prompted thought experiments that analyzed our considered judgments. This was an idealized analysis unconnected to the vision of direct democracy.

Journal

Journal of the History of IdeasUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Mar 31, 2017

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