Erkenntnis 42 (1):65 - 87 (1995)
|Abstract||Aconvention is a state in which agents coordinate their activity, not as the result of an explicit agreement, but because their expectations are aligned so that each individual believes that all will act so as to achieve coordination for mutual benefit. Since agents are said to follow a convention if they coordinate without explicit agreement, the notion raises fundamental questions: (1) Why do certain conventions remain stable over time?, and (2) How does a convention emerge in the first place? In a pioneering study, Lewis (1969) addresses these questions by applyingnoncooperative game theory. Lewis defines a convention as aNash coordination equilibrium of a noncooperative game that issalient, that is, it is somehow conspicuous to the agents so that all expect one another to conform with the equilibrium. This paper presents a new game theoretic definition of conventions, which formalizes the notion of salience and which also generalizes the class of conventions Lewis discusses in his work. I define a convention as acorrelated equilibrium (Aumann 1974, 1987) satisfying apublic intentions criterion: Every agent wants his intended action to becommon knowledge. I argue that many conventions correspond to correlated equilibria that are not Nash equilibria, and that this is consistent with Lewis' general viewpoint. Finally, I argue that game theoretic characterizations of convention, such as Lewis' and my own, help to explain a convention's stability, but that a fully satisfactory account of the emergence of convention requires a theory of equilibrium selection beyond the scope of Lewis' work.|
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
|Through your library||Configure|
Similar books and articles
Giacomo Sillari (2008). Common Knowledge and Convention. Topoi 27 (1-2):29-39.
Don Ross (2008). Classical Game Theory, Socialization and the Rationalization of Conventions. Topoi 27 (1-2):57-72.
Robin P. Cubitt & Robert Sugden (2003). Common Knowledge, Salience and Convention: A Reconstruction of David Lewis' Game Theory. Economics and Philosophy 19 (2):175-210.
Margaret Gilbert (1990). Rationality, Coordination, and Convention. Synthese 84 (1):1 - 21.
Margaret Gilbert (1981). Game Theory Andconvention. Synthese 46 (1):41 - 93.
Ruth Garrett Millikan (1998). Language Conventions Made Simple. Journal of Philosophy 95 (4):161-180.
Margaret Gilbert (1983). Agreements, Conventions, and Language. Synthese 54 (3):375 - 407.
P. Vanderschraaf (1998). Knowledge, Equilibrium and Convention. Erkenntnis 49 (3):337-369.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads34 ( #40,555 of 722,864 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #60,917 of 722,864 )
How can I increase my downloads?