Full Text

game theory

Subject Philosophy

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405106795.2004.x


P hilosophy of action, philosophy of social science, ethics, political philosophy The mathematical theory of game-like human situations in which each rational agent strategically acts so as to maximize preferred utility or outcome. However, the realization of this strategy depends on the actions of other players in the same situations, and on the assumption that each of them is equally rational in his or her choices. Each player must take the strategies of other players into account, since it is impossible for all players to maximize simultaneously their preferred utility. A situation which yields such a consequence that no agent can improve his or her position if such an agent unilaterally withdraws from it, is called the Nash equilibrium. Game theory tries to find what the most rational strategy should be in such situations. It was systematically developed by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern in the 1940s, and has a wide application in the contemporary discussion of moral and political theory. Game theory is a part of decision theory . “Game theory therefore starts with games where initial choices are to be made without prior communication and where any emergent conventions exist without being enforced by any kind of sanc tions.” Hollis, in Bunnin and Tsui-James (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Philosophy ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:


     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.

[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top