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The Man Who Kant Lie

February 1, 2012
Immanuel Kant

Immanuel Kant

From blogroll inductee UnwelcomePundit:

“Under these circumstances, the preferred player 1 choice is clearly not to lie; telling the truth is always preferred to lying. In such a situation, a game theorist will try to counter, saying that the above argument demonstrates a misunderstanding of the notion of utility. The payoffs above don’t represent monetary payoffs, they represent real payoffs in the form of a partial ordering of possible outcomes. If you think that cooperating is a good thing, then that will be a component of your payoff for cooperating. To put it more generally, whatever reasons you could possibly have for acting one way or another will be accounted for by your payoffs. So, if you like cooperating so much that it tips the direction of the above-mentioned inequalities, then you were never really facing a prisoner’s dilemma in the first place. What we would need to do to put you in that situation is to provide enough extra incentives to make defecting again seem like a dominant strategy. The game theorist’s presumption, moreover, is that such a thing can always be done.

“In player Kant’s case, however, piling on extra incentives will just never be enough. Even taking a and b down to negative infinity won’t work, because to Kant, c and d are already there. Moreover, adding an infinite number of incentives to c and d will not be enough to draw them from the abyss in which they began.”

via The Man Who Kant Lie.

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From → Philosophy, Value

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