A Game-Theoretic Analysis of the Waterloo Campaign and Some Comments on the Analytic Narrative Project
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
The paper has a twofold aim. On the one hand, it provides what appears to be the first game-theoretic modeling of Napoleon’s last campaign, which ended dramatically on 18 June 1815 at Waterloo. It is specifically concerned with the decision Napoleon made on 17 June 1815 to detach part of his army against the Prussians he had defeated, though not destroyed, on 16 June at Ligny. Military historians agree that this decision was crucial but disagree about whether it was rational. Hypothesizing a zero-sum game between Napoleon and Blücher, and computing its solution, we show that it could have been a cautious strategy on the former's part to divide his army, a conclusion which runs counter to the charges of misjudgement commonly heard since Clausewitz. On the other hand, the paper addresses methodological issues. We defend its case study against the objections of irrelevance that have been raised elsewhere against “analytic narratives”, and conclude that military campaigns provide an opportunity for successful application of the formal theories of rational choice. Generalizing the argument, we finally investigate the conflict between narrative accounts – the historians' standard mode of expression – and mathematical modeling.
|Keywords||analytic narrative rational choice history zero-sum games models vs narratives|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
John W. Schiemann, Bizarre Beliefs and Rational Choices: A Behavioral Approach to Analytic Narratives.
Till Grüne‐Yanoff & Paul Schweinzer (2008). The Roles of Stories in Applying Game Theory. Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2):131-146.
Daniel Eggers (2011). Hobbes and Game Theory Revisited: Zero-Sum Games in the State of Nature. Southern Journal of Philosophy 49 (3):193-226.
Bence Nanay (2009). Narrative Pictures. Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 67 (1):119 - 129.
Zamora Bonilla & P. Jesús (2006). Science Studies and the Theory of Games. Perspectives on Science 14 (4).
Boudewijn de Bruin (2005). Game Theory in Philosophy. Topoi 24 (2):197-208.
Tilmann Betsch & Carsten Held (2012). Rational Decision Making: Balancing RUN and JUMP Modes of Analysis. Mind and Society 11 (1):69-80.
Byron Almén (2008). A Theory of Musical Narrative. Indiana University Press.
Bruno Verbeek (2010). Rational Choice Virtues. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (5):541-559.
Richard M. Shiffrin (2003). Locally Rational Decision-Making. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 26 (2):175-175.
Boudewijn De Bruin (2005). Game Theory in Philosophy. Topoi 24 (2):197-208.
Marcus Schulzke (2014). Simulating Philosophy: Interpreting Video Games as Executable Thought Experiments. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 27 (2):251-265.
Steven J. Brams & D. Marc Kilgour (1988). National Security Games. Synthese 76 (2):185 - 200.
Added to index2012-03-30
Total downloads99 ( #11,804 of 1,103,045 )
Recent downloads (6 months)29 ( #4,378 of 1,103,045 )
How can I increase my downloads?