Artificial Morality: Virtuous Robots for Virtual Games

By Peter Danielson | Go to book overview

2

FUNDAMENTAL JUSTIFICATION AND GAMES

Artificial Morality is a method for providing a fundamental justification for moral constraint. It shares this goal with David Gauthier’s Morals by Agreement. ‘We are committed to showing why an individual, reasoning from non-moral premises, would accept the constraints of a morality on his choices.’ 1 In this chapter I use the goal of fundamental justification to focus my argument by choosing its starting points. Fundamental justification leads us to the compliance problem as a crucial problem and to games as the best models of this problem.

This chapter also defines Artificial Morality in terms of two contrasts. First, Artificial Morality is closely related to contractarianism so I contrast my approach with the well-known contractarian theories of Hobbes, Rawls and Gauthier. Second, Artificial Morality uses games somewhat differently from the theory of games.

2.1

FUNDAMENTAL JUSTIFICATION

The idea of a fundamental justification—a justification of a realm that does not appeal to any of the concepts of that realm—has enormous philosophical appeal. 2 The easiest way to argue for fundamental justification is to consider the alternatives. In general, anything short of a fundamental justification of morality, by assuming some moral premise(s), begs the central question of ethical theory. I realize that many philosophers think that begging this question is necessary. It may be that ethics is not possible unless one assumes the automony of the field. Or it may be that some moral premise is deeply true of human beings. Perhaps, but notice that both of these methodological moves make strong claims and should be seen to do so. I am inclined to

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Artificial Morality: Virtuous Robots for Virtual Games
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • List of Figures ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • How to Avoid Reading Some of This Book xiii
  • Part I - Method 1
  • 1 - Rationality and Morality 3
  • 2 - Fundamental Justification and Games 19
  • 3 - Nature and Artifice 39
  • Part II - Rational Constraint 57
  • 4 - Conditional Co-Operation 61
  • 5 - Reciprocal Co-Operation 88
  • 6 - A Moral Monster? 111
  • Part III - Flexibility, Information, and Acquiescence 125
  • 7 - Flexible Players 129
  • 8 - Information and Its Costs 148
  • 9 - Chicken 163
  • 10 - Discrimination, Fairness and Sanctions 179
  • 11 - Conclusion 195
  • Appendix A 203
  • Prolog Implementations 205
  • Notes 210
  • Bibliography 229
  • Index 236
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