Do Conventions Need to Be Common Knowledge?

Topoi 27 (1-2):17-27 (2008)
Do conventions need to be common knowledge in order to work? David Lewis builds this requirement into his definition of a convention. This paper explores the extent to which his approach finds support in the game theory literature. The knowledge formalism developed by Robert Aumann and others militates against Lewis’s approach, because it shows that it is almost impossible for something to become common knowledge in a large society. On the other hand, Ariel Rubinstein’s Email Game suggests that coordinated action is no less hard for rational players without a common knowledge requirement. But an unnecessary simplifying assumption in the Email Game turns out to be doing all the work, and the current paper concludes that common knowledge is better excluded from a definition of the conventions that we use to regulate our daily lives
Keywords Conventions  Common knowledge  Game theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11245-008-9033-4
 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: 15,974
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
Ken Binmore (1987). Modeling Rational Players: Part I. Economics and Philosophy 3 (02):179-.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

41 ( #80,927 of 1,725,866 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #81,086 of 1,725,866 )

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.