David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Episteme 6 (2):164-184 (2009)
At the very end of the 19th century, Gabriele Tarde wrote that all society was a product of imitation and innovation. This view regarding the development of society has, to a large extent, fallen out of favour, and especially so in those areas where the rational actor model looms large. I argue that this is unfortunate, as models of imitative learning, in some cases, agree better with what people actually do than more sophisticated models of learning. In this paper, I contrast the behaviour of imitative learning with two more sophisticated learning rules (one based on Bayesian updating, the other based on the Nash-Brown-von Neumann dynamics) in the context of social deliberation problems. I show for two social deliberation problems, the Centipede game and a simple Lewis sender-receiver game, that imitative learning provides better agreement with what people actually do, thus partially vindicating Tarde.
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References found in this work BETA
David Lewis (1969). Convention: A Philosophical Study. Harvard University Press.
Brian Skyrms (1990). The Dynamics of Rational Deliberation. Harvard University Press.
Martin Hollis (1994). The Philosophy of Social Science: An Introduction. Cambridge University Press.
Peter Vanderschraaf & J. McKenzie Alexander (2005). Follow the Leader: Local Interactions with Influence Neighborhoods. Philosophy of Science 72 (1):86-113.
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