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Jeff Frooman: Moral Translucency

When:We 13-03-2013 15:15 - 17:00
Where:Room Omega, Faculty of Philosophy

In his 1986 book, Morals by Agreement, David Gauthier develops a theory of morality grounded in prisoner’s dilemma. In the course of the argument Gauthier needs to assume that agents in the dilemma are translucent--that is, neither opaque nor transparent.  In other words, one’s disposition to cooperate or compete can be discerned with a fairly high degree of accuracy by other agents. This has always been a controversial assumption--the Achilles’ heel of the theory.  Despite all the debate about the translucency assumption, there have been almost no tests of it.  The aim of this research is to do just that--test the translucency assumption.

We employ the psychological concept of personal familiarity in our test of translucency. The reason for this is that measures of translucency do not exist; however, ...(continue...)