Has Game Theory Been Refuted?

Journal of Philosophy 103 (5):239-263 (2005)
Authors
Francesco Guala
Università degli Studi di Milano
Abstract
The answer in a nutshell is: Yes, five years ago, but nobody has noticed. Nobody noticed because the majority of social scientists subscribe to one of the following views: (1) the ‘anomalous’ behaviour observed in standard prisoner’s dilemma or ultimatum game experiments has refuted standard game theory a long time ago; (2) game theory is flexible enough to accommodate any observed choices by ‘refining’ players’ preferences; or (3) it is just a piece of pure mathematics (a tautology). None of these views is correct. This paper defends the view that GT as commonly understood is not a tautology, that it suffers from important (albeit very recently discovered) empirical anomalies, and that it is not flexible enough to accommodate all the anomalies in its theoretical framework. It also discusses the experiments that finally refuted game theory, and concludes trying to explain why it took so long for experimental game theorists to design experiments that could adequately test the theory.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy
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Reprint years 2006
ISBN(s) 0022-362X  
DOI 10.5840/jphil2006103532
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Two Kinds of We-Reasoning.Raul Hakli, Kaarlo Miller & Raimo Tuomela - 2010 - Economics and Philosophy 26 (3):291-320.
The Roles of Stories in Applying Game Theory.Till Grüne‐Yanoff & Paul Schweinzer - 2008 - Journal of Economic Methodology 15 (2):131-146.
The Normativity of Lewis Conventions.Francesco Guala - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3107-3122.

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