I'm collecting formalizations of "morality" of any philosophical school.
(My special wishes is anything for Kant, which I don't understand and for whom I didn't find anything seriously formal, at least for my taste. And 'natural law school' from jurisprudence.)

Formalizations = anything with rigorous mathematical structure and what I can calculate, for example, with a computer (in limited toy examples with toy beings/worlds and maybe, in principle, for any real word problem). Randomized algorithms counts too.


1 Answer 1


The mathematical formalisms of game theory, and, especially, evolutionary game theory and bargaining theory, may be used for the analysis of moral philosophies. An overview is provided in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

A favourite author of mine is Ken Binmore, who has frequent run-ins with Kant's categorical imperative, which is the central philosophical concept in the latter's moral philosophy.

That may pose a problem for you, since, if a given moral philosophy is game-theoretically inconsistent, then you can't use the game-theoretical formalism for meaningful calculations (if we accept the principle of explosion).

In my tentative opinion that's basically the end of it, but there are some who disagree with the game-theoretical approach in the first place (as addressed in the SEP entry). Perhaps one of them can post another answer, perhaps (or not) defending the claim that John Rawls' device of the original position is an operationalisation of Kant's categorical imperative.

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    @zaarcis I just now see that it's you, my quantum friend! Therefore let me mention that there is a developing field of (tentatively called) "Quantum Social Science", the models of which might actually allow for classically inconsistent systems. But I take it that, as things stand, you'll probably have to do the hard work yourself!
    – user3164
    Feb 17, 2013 at 20:48
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    @zaarcis And if you're really interested, check out, e.g., Quantum Cognition and, perhaps, work by Jerome Busemeyer and/or Andrei Khrennikov for the (rather technical) gist of this field.
    – user3164
    Feb 17, 2013 at 21:05

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