Prisoner's Dilemma doesn't explain much

  title={Prisoner's Dilemma doesn't explain much},
  author={Robert Northcott and Anna Alexandrova},
Book synopsis: The Prisoner's Dilemma is one of the most fiercely debated thought experiments in philosophy and the social sciences, presenting the simple insight that when two or more agents interact, the actions that most benefit each individual do not benefit the group. The fact that when you do what is best for you, and I do what is best for me, we end up in a situation that is worse for both of us makes the Prisoner's Dilemma relevant to a broad range of everyday phenomena. This volume of… 

Economics Rules , Dani Rodrik , W. W. Norton & Company, 2015, xv + 253 pages.

  • J. Thoma
  • Economics
    Economics and Philosophy
  • 2017
Many economists readily admit that they tend to think of their discipline as superior to other social sciences (Fourcade et al. 2015). If this sense of superiority has suffered due to the criticism

Theory Roulette: Choosing that Climate Change is not a Tragedy of the Commons

Climate change mitigation has become a paradigm case both for externalities in general and for the game-theoretic model of the Tragedy of the Commons (ToC) in particular. This situation is

Modeling Morality

  • W. Veit
  • Art
    Model-Based Reasoning in Science and Technology
  • 2019
The role of models in the science of morality has been vastly underappreciated, and this omission shall be remedied here, offering a much more positive picture on the contributions modelers made to the understanding of morality.

Philosophical and ethical aspects of economic design

This thesis studies some philosophical and ethical issues that economic design raises. Chapter 1 gives an overview of economic design and argues that a crossfertilisation between philosophy and

Reframe policymaking dysfunction through bipartisan-inclusion leadership

Three complementary explanations are described, which suggest that non-cooperative partisan policymaking has become self-reinforcing, and institutional changes to promote cooperation should focus on lowering the risk-adjusted cost–benefit ratio, making cooperation safer and more attractive for policymakers.

What is the Problem with Model-based Explanation in Economics?

Abstract The question of whether the idealized models of theoretical economics are explanatory has been the subject of intense philosophical debate. It is sometimes presupposed that either a model

Validation of Computer Simulations from a Kuhnian Perspective

  • E. Arnold
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    Simulation Foundations, Methods and Applications
  • 2019
While Thomas Kuhn’s theory of scientific revolutions does not specifically deal with validation, the validation of simulations can be related in various ways to Kuhn’s theory: (1) Computer

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Agent-based modelling has become a well-established method in social epistemology and philosophy of science but the question of what kind of explanations these models provide remains largely open.

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This paper introduces and defends an account of model-based science that I dub model pluralism. I argue that despite a growing awareness in the philosophy of science literature of the multiplicity,

Conceptual challenges in cultural selection

It is argued that cultural systems need not resemble biological systems in key respects in order for cultural selection to take place, and that cumulative selection can take place in populations without reproduction.



A Dual-Edged Sword: Empathy and Collective Action in the Prisoner's Dilemma

Researchers guided by evolutionary psychology have theorized that in an iterated prisoner's dilemma, reciprocal behavior is a product of evolutionary design, where individuals are guided by an innate

Evidential reasoning in the prisoner's dilemma.

It is suggested that cooperation can be explained in part by expectations of reciprocal behavior, that is, by the belief that players facing the same situation probably will come to the same decision.

Testing models of non-kin cooperation: mutualism and the Prisoner’s Dilemma

Abstract Since 1981, the iterated Prisoner's Dilemma has dominated studies of non-kin cooperation. Alternative models have received relatively little attention. The simplest alternative is mutualism,

Human friendship favours cooperation in the Iterated Prisoner's Dilemma

In the last decades, many studies have attempted to analyse the factors that may favour the evolution of cooperation. Among unrelated individuals, cooperation is expected to occur when partners

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A large literature which attempts to explain how cooperative outcomes can be supported in the repeated Prisoners' Dilemma (RPD) has emerged in recent years. An interesting branch of this literature

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In the United States at the height of the Cold War, roughly between the end of World War II and the early 1980s, a new project of redefining rationality commanded the attention of sharp minds,


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Popper's metaphysical research program for the human sciences 1

Popper has provided a model for the scientific explanation of human actions and a metaphysical theory of man which can guide scientific research. In this paper I discuss the problems of the empirical

Preference, Value, Choice, and Welfare

This book is about preferences, principally as they figure in economics. It also explores their uses in everyday language and action, how they are understood in psychology and how they figure in

Prisoner's dilemma in an RNA virus

It is shown that the fitness of the high-multiplicity phage relative to their ancestors generates a pay-off matrix conforming to the prisoner's dilemma strategy of game theory, in which defection (selfishness) evolves, despite the greater fitness pay-offs that would result if all players were to cooperate.