TagLast edit: 27 Aug 2021 14:11 UTC by Yoav Ravid

Fairness is a property of a system or process where no part is privileged, along some measure. A common problem is how to divide a cake between 3 people. Should every one get a third? what if one of them is hungrier? What if they don’t agree about what is fair? This is an example of fair division.

Talking about fairness is difficult, as it runs into many problems with language (as surely the first sentence in this page does). What does privilege mean? what does it mean for someone to be entitled to something?

It also runs it problems of value. How do we measure value? is value objective or subjective? How do we know how much value something is worth to someone? Should an arbiter decide or can people decide between themselves?

Objective value is considered impossible, so objective fairness is considered impossible too. Which means an arbiter can’t be used, and participants have to find a arrangement which is subjectively fair to them.

Which opens up problems of truthfulness, strategy and verification.

Several posts on LessWrong deal with this topic, and it’s also a field of research called Fair Division.

Related pages:

External links:

Fair­ness vs. Goodness

Eliezer Yudkowsky22 Feb 2009 20:22 UTC
15 points
21 comments1 min readLW link

The Be­drock of Mo­ral­ity: Ar­bi­trary?

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Aug 2008 22:00 UTC
23 points
119 comments6 min readLW link

Fair Divi­sion of Black-Hole Ne­gen­tropy: an In­tro­duc­tion to Co­op­er­a­tive Game Theory

Wei_Dai16 Jul 2009 4:17 UTC
55 points
37 comments2 min readLW link

The Be­drock of Fairness

Eliezer Yudkowsky3 Jul 2008 6:00 UTC
52 points
103 comments5 min readLW link

[SEQ RERUN] Is Fair­ness Ar­bi­trary?

MinibearRex30 Jul 2012 5:47 UTC
6 points
0 comments1 min readLW link

Co­op­er­at­ing with agents with differ­ent ideas of fair­ness, while re­sist­ing exploitation

Eliezer Yudkowsky16 Sep 2013 8:27 UTC
84 points
42 comments4 min readLW link

Freaky unfairness

benelliott12 Jan 2011 10:08 UTC
28 points
10 comments2 min readLW link

Is Fair­ness Ar­bi­trary?

Eliezer Yudkowsky14 Aug 2008 1:54 UTC
7 points
37 comments6 min readLW link

Notes on Fairness

David Gross7 Dec 2020 18:52 UTC
20 points
4 comments7 min readLW link

[SEQ RERUN] Fair­ness vs. Goodness

MinibearRex8 Mar 2013 5:48 UTC
5 points
5 comments1 min readLW link

A method for fair bar­gain­ing over odds in 2 player bets!

Agrippa Kellum11 Jan 2020 1:18 UTC
11 points
9 comments2 min readLW link

Your Cheer­ful Price

Eliezer Yudkowsky13 Feb 2021 5:41 UTC
256 points
81 comments17 min readLW link6 reviews

Book Re­view—The Ori­gins of Un­fair­ness: So­cial Cat­e­gories and Cul­tural Evolution

Zack_M_Davis21 Jan 2020 6:28 UTC
27 points
5 comments1 min readLW link

By Which It May Be Judged

Eliezer Yudkowsky10 Dec 2012 4:26 UTC
83 points
941 comments11 min readLW link

Unify­ing Bar­gain­ing No­tions (1/​2)

Diffractor25 Jul 2022 0:28 UTC
190 points
41 comments16 min readLW link

Threat-Re­sis­tant Bar­gain­ing Me­ga­post: In­tro­duc­ing the ROSE Value

Diffractor28 Sep 2022 1:20 UTC
121 points
12 comments53 min readLW link

Fair­ness and Geometry

cousin_it22 Jul 2009 10:44 UTC
13 points
35 comments2 min readLW link

Freaky Fairness

cousin_it25 Jul 2009 8:14 UTC
14 points
36 comments3 min readLW link

Redis­tribut­ing fairness

KatjaGrace17 Apr 2008 5:39 UTC
1 point
0 comments2 min readLW link


LVSN6 Jan 2023 7:38 UTC
6 points
3 comments1 min readLW link

Round­ing Some­one Off

David Udell24 Jan 2023 0:03 UTC
25 points
0 comments5 min readLW link

Notes on Jus­tice (as a virtue)

David Gross5 Nov 2020 20:27 UTC
5 points
4 comments9 min readLW link
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