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Evolutionary Explanations of Distributive Justice

J. McKenzie Alexander
Philosophy of Science
Vol. 67, No. 3 (Sep., 2000), pp. 490-516
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/188629
Page Count: 27
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Evolutionary Explanations of Distributive Justice
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Abstract

Evolutionary game theoretic accounts of justice attempt to explain our willingness to follow certain principles of justice by appealing to robustness properties possessed by those principles. Skyrms (1996) offers one sketch of how such an account might go for divide-the-dollar, the simplest version of the Nash bargaining game, using the replicator dynamics of Taylor and Jonker (1978). In a recent article, D'Arms et al. (1998) criticize his account and describe a model which, they allege, undermines his theory. I sketch a theory of evolutionary explanations of justice which avoids their methodological criticisms, and develop a spatial model of divide-the-dollar with more robust convergence properties than the models of Skyrms (1996) and D'Arms et al. (1998).

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