25 found
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  1. Social Deliberation: Nash, Bayes, and the Partial Vindication of Gabriele Tarde.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2009 - Episteme 6 (2):164-184.
    At the very end of the 19th century, Gabriele Tarde wrote that all society was a product of imitation and innovation. This view regarding the development of society has, to a large extent, fallen out of favour, and especially so in those areas where the rational actor model looms large. I argue that this is unfortunate, as models of imitative learning, in some cases, agree better with what people actually do than more sophisticated models of learning. In this paper, I (...)
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  2. Follow the Leader: Local Interactions with Influence Neighborhoods.Peter Vanderschraaf & J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
  3. Preferential Attachment and the Search for Successful Theories.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
    Multiarm bandit problems have been used to model the selection of competing scientific theories by boundedly rational agents. In this paper, I define a variable-arm bandit problem, which allows the set of scientific theories to vary over time. I show that Roth-Erev reinforcement learning, which solves multiarm bandit problems in the limit, cannot solve this problem in a reasonable time. However, social learning via preferential attachment combined with individual reinforcement learning which discounts the past, does.
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  4. Evolutionary Explanations of Distributive Justice.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (3):490-516.
    Evolutionary game theoretic accounts of justice attempt to explain our willingness to follow certain principles of justice by appealing to robustness properties possessed by those principles. Skyrms (1996) offers one sketch of how such an account might go for divide-the-dollar, the simplest version of the Nash bargaining game, using the replicator dynamics of Taylor and Jonker (1978). In a recent article, D'Arms et al. (1998) criticize his account and describe a model which, they allege, undermines his theory. I sketch a (...)
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  5. Why the Angels Cannot Choose.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2012 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 90 (4):619 - 640.
    Decision theory faces a number of problematic gambles which challenge it to say what value an ideal rational agent should assign to the gamble, and why. Yet little attention has been devoted to the question of what an ideal rational agent is, and in what sense decision theory may be said to apply to one. I show that, given one arguably natural set of constraints on the preferences of an idealized rational agent, such an agent is forced to be indifferent (...)
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  6. Expectations and Choiceworthiness.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2011 - Mind 120 (479):803-817.
    The Pasadena game is an example of a decision problem which lacks an expected value, as traditionally conceived. Easwaran (2008) has shown that, if we distinguish between two different kinds of expectations, which he calls ‘strong’ and ‘weak’, the Pasadena game lacks a strong expectation but has a weak expectation. Furthermore, he argues that we should use the weak expectation as providing a measure of the value of an individual play of the Pasadena game. By considering a modified version of (...)
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  7. Cheap Talk, Reinforcement Learning, and the Emergence of Cooperation.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
    Cheap talk has often been thought incapable of supporting the emergence of cooperation because costless signals, easily faked, are unlikely to be reliable. I show how, in a social network model of cheap talk with reinforcement learning, cheap talk does enable the emergence of cooperation, provided that individuals also temporally discount the past. This establishes one mechanism that suffices for moving a population of initially uncooperative individuals to a state of mutually beneficial cooperation even in the absence of formal institutions.
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  8.  33
    Learning to Signal in a Dynamic World.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2014 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 65 (4):797-820.
    Sender–receiver games, first introduced by David Lewis ([1969]), have received increased attention in recent years as a formal model for the emergence of communication. Skyrms ([2010]) showed that simple models of reinforcement learning often succeed in forming efficient, albeit not necessarily minimal, signalling systems for a large family of games. Later, Alexander et al. ([2012]) showed that reinforcement learning, combined with forgetting, frequently produced both efficient and minimal signalling systems. In this article, I define a ‘dynamic’ sender–receiver game in which (...)
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  9. Random Boolean Networks and Evolutionary Game Theory.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 70 (5):1289-1304.
    Recent years have seen increased interest in the question of whether it is possible to provide an evolutionary game-theoretic explanation for certain kinds of social norms. I sketch a proof of a general representation theorem for a large class of evolutionary game-theoretic models played on a social network, in hope that this will contribute to a greater understanding of the long-term evolutionary dynamics of such models, and hence the evolution of social norms.
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  10. Robustness, Optimality, and the Handicap Principle.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
  11. 10. The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction The Facts of the Matter: A Discussion of Norton's Material Theory of Induction (Pp. 188-197). [REVIEW]Marc Ereshefsky, Mohan Matthen, Matthew H. Slater, Alex Rosenberg, D. M. Kaplan, Kevin Js Zollman, Peter Vanderschraaf, J. McKenzie Alexander, Andreas Hüttemann & Gordon Belot - 2005 - Philosophy of Science 72 (1).
  12.  56
    Decision Theory Meets the Witch of Agnesi.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (12):712-727.
    In the course of history, many individuals have the dubious honor of being remembered primarily for an eponym of which they would disapprove. How many are aware that Joseph-Ignace Guillotin actually opposed the death penalty? Another notable case is that of Maria Agnesi, an Italian woman of privileged, but not noble, birth who excelled at mathematics and philosophy during the eighteenth century. In her treatise of 1748, Instituzioni Analitiche, she provided a comprehensive summary of the current state of knowledge concerning (...)
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  13.  59
    Evolutionary Game Theory.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
  14.  75
    The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure, Brian Skyrms. Cambridge University Press, 2004, 149 Pages. [REVIEW]J. McKenzie Alexander - 2006 - Economics and Philosophy 22 (3):441-448.
  15.  28
    The Evolutionary Foundations of Strong Reciprocity.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2005 - Analyse & Kritik 27 (1):106-112.
    Strong reciprocators possess two behavioural dispositions: they are willing to bestow bene ts on those who have bestowed bene ts, and they are willing to punish those who fail to bestow bene ts according to some social norm. There is no doubt that peoples' behaviour, in many cases, agrees with what we would expect if people are strong reciprocators, and Fehr and Henrich argue that many people are, in fact, strong reciprocators. They also suggest that strongly reciprocal behaviour may be (...)
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  16.  43
    Reconciling Morality with the Theory of Rational Choice Via Evolution.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2010 - In .
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  17.  28
    Book Review: The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure. [REVIEW]J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
  18.  38
    Behaviorism and Altruistic Acts.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2002 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 25 (2):252-252.
    Rachlin's idea that altruism, like self-control, is a valuable, temporally extended pattern of behavior, suggests one way of addressing common problems in developing a rational choice explanation of individual altruistic behavior. However, the form of Rachlin's explicitly behaviorist account of altruistic acts suffers from two faults, one of which questions the feasibility of his particular behaviorist analysis.
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  19.  29
    The Evolutionary Foundations of Strong Reciprocity.J. McKenzie Alexander - unknown
    : Strong reciprocators possess two behavioural dispositions: they are willing to bestow bene ts on those who have bestowed bene ts, and they are willing to punish those who fail to bestow bene ts according to some social norm. There is no doubt that peoples' behaviour, in many cases, agrees with what we would expect if people are strong reciprocators, and Fehr and Henrich argue that many people are, in fact, strong reciprocators. They also suggest that strongly reciprocal behaviour may (...)
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  20.  20
    Game Theory.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2006 - In .
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  21.  16
    Ruling Out (160, 54, 18) Difference Sets in Some Nonabelian Groups.J. McKenzie Alexander, Rajalakshmi Balasubramanian, Jeremy Martin, Kimberly Monahan, Harriet Pollatsek & Ashna Sen - unknown
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  22.  15
    Co-Evolutionary Dynamics on a Deformable Landscape.J. McKenzie Alexander, Marc Ebner & Richard Watson - 2000 - In .
  23.  15
    Artificial Justice.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2003 - In .
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  24.  8
    PSA 2000 Symposium Paper Volume Introduction.Jeffrey A. Barrett & J. McKenzie Alexander - 2002 - Philosophy of Science 69 (S3):vii-vii.
  25.  8
    Cooperation.J. McKenzie Alexander - 2008 - In .