PPEsylfall2010 - The Prisoners Dilemma & Distributive...

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Philosophy 146 / Political Science 103 / Economics 103 Fall 2010 Tuesday - Thursday 4:25 PM- 5:40 PM Social Science 136 at Duke / Greenlaw 101 at UNC Instructor: Michael Munger munger@duke.edu Office: Perkins Library, Room 338 Office phone: 919 660-4301 Home phone: 919 844-0154 Cell phone: 919 369-6453 INTRODUCTION The course centers on historical and contemporary attempts to understand the factual nature, and the normative foundations, of the most powerful of our social and political institutions—the market and the government that enforces it. It thus intersects the scientific and the moral agendas of economics, political science and philosophy. Our aim is to illustrate how all of these three disciplines are indispensible to most of the factual and normative questions faced by each of them. The course will repeatedly come face to face with problems of coordination and cooperation in groups of humans, and for that matter in any collection of independent organisms. These are problems of economic efficiency in coordination and ethical problems of justice in distribution, or access to resources and power. To understand “social cooperation” one needs to understand the problems that social cooperation has to overcome. Here game theory is the most important tool for economist, the polical scientist, and even for the political philosopher. We therefore focus much of the course on this subdiscipline. One game in particular, the prisoners’ dilemma is a foundational element in the study of social institutions. We will begin with the PD in its simplest form and then extend to the iterated case and the more relevant many-person version. We shall deal with the theory of public goods, and offer several applications of PD reasoning, including the Hobbesian account of the origin of the state , the Lockean account of the origin of property , and the Humean and Demsetzian accounts of the origin of property rights . We will consider the experimental evidence in relation to PD and social dilemma games. We also examine the related “trust problem” and its implications for the possibility of pre-commitment. We will repeatedly exploit game theory to illuminate the problem of justice, distribution, and control and direction of power. The object of this part of the course is two-fold: first to examine an issue that is of enormous interest in its own right: second, to isolate the disciplinary differences and complementarities in the philosophical, political and economic approaches to this issue. So we shall consider the pure ‘ethics’ of distributive justice as understood say by Marx, Rawls and Nozick. We shall also deal with the feasibility of various distributive schemes, focusing on “incentive effects” and their implications. Finally, we bring together the problem of coordination and distribution by examining the problem of power in anarchic systems, examining the work of North, Ostrom, and others. LINKS TO RESOURCES:
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PPEsylfall2010 - The Prisoners Dilemma & Distributive...

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