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date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This article investigates the empirical evidence and normative implications of cooperation and reciprocity. It pays attention to forging connections with issues in normative political philosophy concerning the role of reciprocity in cooperative behavior and in the sense of justice. A disagreement between Brian Barry and Allan Gibbard about the relationship between different theories of justice and the motivations underlying them is presented. It is shown that the features of reciprocators presented point to a normative possibility—a conception of justice based on reciprocity—that is distinct both from what emerges from the interactions of purely self-interested players (justice as mutual advantage [JMA]) and conceptions which rely on ideals of unconditional altruism and impartiality (justice as impartiality [JI]). Positive reciprocity involves returning a benefit for a benefit or providing a benefit in expectation of a benefit. Justice as reciprocity (JR) represents a recognizable and apparently coherent ideal of justice that is fairly widely shared.

Keywords: cooperation, reciprocity, normative political philosophy, justice, Brian Barry, Allan Gibbard, mutual advantage, impartiality

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