Reducible and Nonsensical Uses of Game Theory

Philosophy of the Social Sciences 38 (2):247-266 (2008)
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The mathematical tools of game theory are frequently used in the social sciences and economic consultancy. But how do they explain social phenomena and support prescriptive judgments? And is the use of game theory really necessary? I analyze the logical form of explanatory and prescriptive game theoretical statements, and argue for two claims: (1) explanatory game theory can and should be reduced to rational choice theory in all cases; and (2) prescriptive game theory gives bad advice in some cases, is reducible to rational choice theory in other cases, while it makes no sense in yet other cases.



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Boudewijn de Bruin
University of Groningen

References found in this work

Explaining action by emotion.Sabine A. Döring - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):214-230.
Explaining Action by Emotion.Sabine A. D.Öring - 2003 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):214-230.
Revealed preference, belief, and game theory.Daniel M. Hausman - 2000 - Economics and Philosophy 16 (1):99-115.
On the evaluation of solution concepts.Robert Stalnaker - 1994 - Theory and Decision 37 (1):49-73.

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