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(1998) Game theory, experience, rationality, Dordrecht, Springer.

Structural rationality in game theory

Julian Nida-Rümelin

pp. 81-93

When I began to think about normative questions of rationality and morality, I soon became a consequentialist. This is the natural result of questioning socially established institutional and moral rules and their metaphysical underpinnings. A critical mind cannot accept a duty to do this or that just because it is told that this duty is implied by some general principle. The immediate question is: Where does this principle come from and how is it justified? And if this question cannot be answered satisfactorily, some critical minds become normative sceptics and others search for rational grounds. Those who search for rational grounds easily end up with one form or other of consequentialism. A rational person does not act by established convention or acquired habit but chooses her action as a means to cause the preferred effects. Thus it seems that the rational person tries to optimize, and this seems to imply that moral action as a variant of rational action should optimize results from a universal point of view, e. g. by maximizing the sum of individual utilities.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/978-94-017-1654-3_7

Full citation:

Nida-Rümelin, J. (1998)., Structural rationality in game theory, in W. Leinfellner & E. Köhler (eds.), Game theory, experience, rationality, Dordrecht, Springer, pp. 81-93.

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