The Geometry of Defection

Social Philosophy Today 17:69-90 (2001)
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Abstract

This paper examines a social contractarian model in which an actor cooperates by mimicry; that is, cooperates just in case there is majority cooperation in his orher vicinity. A computer simulation is developed to study the relation between initial and final proportions of such cooperators, as wel l as to chart the population dynamics themselves. The model turns out to be non-linear; item bodies a quintessentially chaotic threshold. The simulation also yields other unforeseen results, revealing a "geometry of delection" that unites delecting cells into robust molecular formations which persist with in overall cooperative domains, or which under certain conditions undermine cooperativeness entirely. The model thus sheds so me light on the structura l dimension of mimicry that underlies social communication, conflict and its resolution.

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Lou Marinoff
City College of New York (CUNY)

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