Game Theory in Philosophy

Topoi 24 (2):197-208 (2005)
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Game theory is the mathematical study of strategy and conflict. It has wide applications in economics, political science, sociology, and, to some extent, in philosophy. Where rational choice theory or decision theory is concerned with individual agents facing games against nature, game theory deals with games in which all players have preference orderings over the possible outcomes of the game. This paper gives an informal introduction to the theory and a survey of applications in diverse branches of philosophy. No criticism is reviewed. Game theory is shown at work in discussions about epistemological dependence, liberalism and efficiency, Hume’s concept of convention, morality and rationality, and distributive justice and egalitarianism. A guide to the literature provides hints at applications in collective intentionality, epistemology, ethics, history of philosophy, logic, philosophy of language, and political philosophy



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Boudewijn de Bruin
University of Groningen

References found in this work

Convention: A Philosophical Study.David Kellogg Lewis - 1969 - Cambridge, MA, USA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Morals by agreement.David P. Gauthier - 1986 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.John Von Neumann & Oskar Morgenstern - 1944 - Princeton, NJ, USA: Princeton University Press.
Evolution of the Social Contract.Brian Skyrms - 1996 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

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