Analyse & Kritik
Journal of Philosophy and Social Theory
Ed. by Baurmann, Michael / Leist, Anton / Tranow, Ulf
2 Issues per year
This commentary on Philip Kitcher’s Ethical Project compares his theory of the evolution of morality with my less ambitious theory of the evolution of fairness norms that seeks to flesh out John Mackie’s insight that one should use game theory as a framework within which to assess anthropological data. It lays particular stress on the importance of the folk theorem of repeated game theory, which provides a template for the set of stable social contracts that were available to ancestral hunter-gatherer communities. It continues by drawing attention to the relevance of Harsanyi’s theory of empathetic preferences in structuring the fairness criteria that evolved as one response to the equilibrium selection problem that the folk theorem demonstrates is endemic in our species.