An Analysis of "The Hobbes Game"

Teaching Philosophy 18 (3):257-268 (1995)
In 1976, John Immerwahr published a classroom simulation designed to illustrate Hobbes’ model of the mutual transfer of rights in the formation of the social contract. The game is fruitfully seized upon in classrooms from a broad range of disciplines because the lesson of Hobbes’ state of nature and Immerwahr’s game can both be represented and elucidated by principles of game theory. This paper reintroduces a new generation of teachers to what the author calls “one of the finest philosophy simulations ever designed”, offers suggestions on conducting the game and on how Immerwahr’s implementation of it can be improved, and discusses its game-theoretic implications. Whereas Immerwahr’s version of the game approximates the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the version presented in this paper more closely resembles the “Assurance Game”. Accordingly, the results of the author’s game indicate that, if given the chance to cooperate, students do so, and the average student finishes the game better off than in the Prisoner’s Dilemma. The author relates the results of his game to the theories of Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau, and concludes by underscoring the richness of the game for philosophical analysis
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/teachphil199518338
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,822
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Wojciech Załuski (2011). A Game-Theoretic Analysis of Justice as Mutual Advantage. In Jerzy Stelmach & Wojciech Załuski (eds.), Game Theory and the Law. Copernicus Center Press

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

22 ( #130,234 of 1,724,747 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #134,580 of 1,724,747 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.