maximin principle

<logic, mathematics, game-theory> supposition that the preferable alternative is one whose worst outcome is least harmful, originally in mathematical and game-theoretical contexts. Thus, when success in any venture is uncertain, it is better to choose courses of action that risk the least, even if they don't offer a chance at the most. Rawls argued that this maximization of the minimum gain to be achieved is a rational guide for social decision-making. Recommended Reading: V. F. Dem'Yanov and V. N. Malozemov, Introduction to Minimax (Dover, 1990); Stephen Simons, Minimax and Monotonicity (Springer Verlag, 1999); Ronald Christensen, General Description of Entropy Minimax (Entropy, 1981); and John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Belknap, 1999).

[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]

<2002-03-06>

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Nearby terms: mauvaise foi « maxim « maximal proof-theoretic consistent set « maximin principle » McCulloch-Pitts neuron » m-consistency » McTaggart John McTaggart Ellis