Artificial Morality: Virtuous Robots for Virtual Games

By Peter Danielson | Go to book overview

10

DISCRIMINATION, FAIRNESS AND SANCTIONS

We were left with a serious problem at the end of the previous chapter. The game of Chicken reopens the compliance problem that we had managed to solve in the case of the Prisoner’s Dilemma in Part II. I have argued that in Chicken the substantively rational strategy is to acquiesce to some threats but Gauthier’s moral theory seems to proscribe unfair acquiescence and even demands that agents enforce this proscription by threatening acquiescent would-be co-operators. How might we close this new gap between rationality and morality? In this chapter I will work on this problem from both sides. First, the roster of strategies in the previous chapter had grown long and complex. It is really possible to build agents that can draw the needed distinctions? Recall that I postulated a less broad co-operator (LBC) with an ability to discriminate sources of threats. If this hyper-discrimination turns out to be procedurally problematic, we would be left with Gauthier’s proposed narrower co-operator (NRC) as both rational and moral, closing the compliance dilemma for the case of Chicken. If, on the other hand, this procedural tactic should fail and LBC is procedurally possible, I must fall back to a moral defence. As in the case of reciprocal co-operation, I will need to defend a principle, less broad cooperation, which has an obvious moral defect. LBC players look to be traitors to the moral cause; they trade with the enemies of impartial constraint. As the analogy to trade and war suggests, the issue is not morally clear-cut. I will defend LBC’s morally less strenuous strategy, her willingness to accept co-operative outcomes even if they are unfair and her refusal to use sanctions to defend the higher standard of fairness.

10.1

PROCEDURAL RATIONALITY

There are two new procedural problems posed by the move from Prisoner’s Dilemma to Chicken. First, Chicken requires finer powers

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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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