Abstract or Introduction
The paper gives a detailed lecture on the prisoner's dilemma and emphasizes its application with regard to the development of common goods and values in social life. Whenever we make a rational choice which might inflict a loss or impose a risk on others we enter the world of morality. Trying to solve the conflict rationally between opposite moral positions we might find ourself in a "social dilemma". Such dilemma was basically modeled first in 1950 as the so-called "Prisoners' Dilemma" by canadian mathematician Albert Tucker and has been modified and developed since then in many ways, for instance by the nobel price winner Amartya Sen. Still today the basic model points out the permanent underlying conflict in our rationality respectively interest whenever it refers to the life of others, to the social life.
At a first glance the underlying story of the Prisoners' Dilemma "game" seems quite simple. Two criminals are held separately in prison being accused having committed one severe crime (let us say bank robbery) and another less severe crime (let us say fast driving). The judge talks to each of them separately in a way like this: "If you confess the severe crime and your complice does not than he will get the maximum penelty of 10 years in prison and you will be free, and vice versa. But if you both confess the severe crime then your confessions are not worth much so you will get the second highest penalty of 5 years. If you both don't confess but deny you both will get the third highest punishment of 3 years due to the undeniable less severe crime." There is no communication possible between the two prisoners.
- Quote paper
- Reinhard Menges (Author), 2014, The "Prisoners' Dilemma" as a contribution of game theory for a better understanding of social conflicts and the value of commons, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/476865