Smart Representations: Rationality and Evolution in a Richer Environment

Philosophy of Science 84 (3):544-573 (2017)

Abstract

Standard applications of evolutionary game theory look at a single game and focus on the evolution of behavior for that game alone. Instead, this article uses tools from evolutionary game theory to study the competition between choice mechanisms in a rich and variable multigame environment. A choice mechanism is a way of subjectively representing a decision situation, paired with a method for choosing an act based on this subjective representation. We demonstrate the usefulness of this approach by a case study that shows how subjective representations in terms of regret that differ from the actual fitness can be evolutionarily advantageous.

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