Noûs 53 (2):491-510 (2019)

Authors
Terry Horgan
University of Arizona
Nathan Ballantyne
Fordham University
Abstract
Two philosophical questions arise about rationality in centipede games that are logically prior to attempts to apply the formal tools of game theory to this topic. First, given that the players have common knowledge of mutual rationality and common knowledge that they are each motivated solely to maximize their own profits, is there a backwards-induction argument that employs only familiar non-technical concepts about rationality, leads to the conclusion that the first player is rationally obligated to end the game at the first step, is deductively valid, employs premises all of which are prima facie highly plausible, and is prima facie sound and )? Second, if there is such an argument, then is it actually sound, or is it instead defective somehow despite being prima facie sound? Addressing these two questions is our project. We present a backwards-induction argument that is prima facie sound; we argue that it is an instance of the notorious sorites paradox, and hence that the concepts of rational obligatoriness and rational permissibility are vague; and we briefly address the potential consequences of all this for the foundations of game theory and decision theory.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/nous.12230
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 59,775
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Blindspots.Michael Levin - 1991 - Noûs 25 (3):389-392.
Troubles for Bayesian Formal Epistemology.Terry Horgan - 2017 - Res Philosophica 94 (2):233-255.
Modeling Rational Players: Part I: Ken Binmore.Ken Binmore - 1987 - Economics and Philosophy 3 (2):179-214.
Robust Vagueness and the Forced-March Sorites Paradox.Terence Horgan - 1994 - Philosophical Perspectives 8:159-188.

View all 17 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Superhard Choices.Miguel F. Dos Santos - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (2):248-265.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Reasoning About Games.Melvin Fitting - 2011 - Studia Logica 99 (1-3):143-169.
Game-Theoretic Axioms for Local Rationality and Bounded Knowledge.Gian Aldo Antonelli & Cristina Bicchieri - 1995 - Journal of Logic, Language and Information 4 (2):145-167.
Rationality and Backward Induction.Ken Binmore - 1997 - Journal of Economic Methodology 4 (1):23-41.
The Word of Others.Steffen Borge - 2003 - Journal of Applied Logic 1 (1-2):107-118.
Liberties and Prima Facie Rights.Phillip Montague - 1987 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 68 (2):79.
The Logic of Strategy.Cristina Bicchieri, Richard Jeffrey & Brian Skyrms (eds.) - 1998 - Oxford University Press.
Science, Morality, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.Keith Lehrer - 1987 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 30 (1):65-76.
Science, Morality, and the Prisoner’s Dilemma.Keith Lehrer - 1987 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 30 (1):65-76.
Ross and the Concept of a Prima Facie Duty.H. J. McCloskey - 1963 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 41 (3):336 – 345.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-09-27

Total views
24 ( #443,075 of 2,432,669 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #464,745 of 2,432,669 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes