Game theoretic explanations and the evolution of justice

Philosophy of Science 65 (1):76-102 (1998)
Game theoretic explanations of the evolution of human behavior have become increasingly widespread. At their best, they allow us to abstract from misleading particulars in order to better recognize and appreciate broad patterns in the phenomena of human social life. We discuss this explanatory strategy, contrasting it with the particularist methodology of contemporary evolutionary psychology. We introduce some guidelines for the assessment of evolutionary game theoretic explanations of human behavior: such explanations should be representative, robust, and flexible. Distinguishing these features sharply can help to clarify the import and accuracy of game theorists' claims about the robustness and stability of their explanatory schemes. Our central example is the work of Brian Skyrms, who offers a game theoretic account of the evolution of our sense of justice. Modeling the same Nash game as Skyrms, we show that, while Skyrms' account is robust with respect to certain kinds of variation, it fares less well in other respects.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1086/392627
 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: 22,585
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
Simon M. Huttegger (2007). Robustness in Signaling Games. Philosophy of Science 74 (5):839-847.
Peter Vanderschraaf (1999). Game Theory, Evolution, and Justice. Philosophy and Public Affairs 28 (4):325–358.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

321 ( #7,268 of 1,938,703 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

45 ( #11,237 of 1,938,703 )

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.