A stag hunt with signalling and mutual beliefs

Biology and Philosophy 28 (4):559-576 (2013)
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The problem of cooperation for rational actors comprises two sub problems: the problem of the intentional object (under what description does each actor perceive the situation?) and the problem of common knowledge for finite minds (how much belief iteration is required?). I will argue that subdoxastic signalling can solve the problem of the intentional object as long as this is confined to a simple coordination problem. In a more complex environment like an assurance game signals may become unreliable. Mutual beliefs can then bolster the earlier attained equilibrium. I will first address these two problems by means of an example, in order to draw some more general lessons about combining evolutionary theory and rationality later on



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