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The Bounds of Reason

Book Description

Game theory is central to understanding human behavior and relevant to all of the behavioral sciences—from biology and economics, to anthropology and political science. However, as The Bounds of Reason demonstrates, game theory alone cannot fully explain human behavior and should instead complement other key concepts championed by the behavioral disciplines. Herbert Gintis shows that just as game theory without broader social theory is merely technical bravado, so social theory without game theory is a handicapped enterprise. This edition has been thoroughly revised and updated.

Reinvigorating game theory, The Bounds of Reason offers innovative thinking for the behavioral sciences.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover Page
  2. Title Page
  3. Copyright Page
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Contents
  6. Preface
  7. 1 Decision Theory and Human Behavior
    1. 1.1 Beliefs, Preferences, and Constraints
    2. 1.2 The Rationality of Time Inconsistency
    3. 1.3 Bayesian Rationality and Subjective Priors
    4. 1.4 Preferences Are State-Dependent
    5. 1.5 The Behavioral Revolution
  8. 2 Game Theory: Basic Concepts
    1. 2.1 The Extensive Form
    2. 2.2 The Normal Form
    3. 2.3 Nash Equilibrium
    4. 2.4 Correlated Equilibrium
  9. 3 Game Theory and Human Behavior
    1. 3.1 Behavioral Game Theory
    2. 3.2 Character Virtues
    3. 3.3 The Situational Character of Preferences
    4. 3.4 The Dark Side of Altruistic Cooperation
    5. 3.5 Norms of Cooperation: Cross-Cultural Variation
  10. 4 Rationalizability and Common Knowledge of Rationality
    1. 4.1 Dominated and Iteratedly Dominated Strategies
    2. 4.2 Epistemic Games
    3. 4.3 Rationalizable Strategies
    4. 4.4 Common Knowledge of Rationality
  11. 5 Extensive Form Rationalizability
    1. 5.1 Backward Induction and Dominated Strategies
    2. 5.2 CKR Fails off the Backward Induction Path
    3. 5.3 How to Play the Repeated Prisoner’s Dilemma
    4. 5.4 Backward Induction and Extensive Form CKR
    5. 5.5 On the Inadmissibility of CKR
  12. 6 The Logical Antinomies of Knowledge
    1. 6.1 The Pitfalls of Naïve Epistemic Logic
    2. 6.2 The Common Knowledge of Logicality Paradox
    3. 6.3 The Surprise Examination
    4. 6.4 The Modal Logic of Knowledge
    5. 6.5 A Truth That Cannot Be Known
  13. 7 The Mixing Problem: Purification and Conjectures
    1. 7.1 The Incoherence of Mixed Strategies
    2. 7.2 Purifying Mixed Strategies
    3. 7.3 A Reputational Model of Honesty and Corruption
    4. 7.4 Epistemic Games: Mixed Strategies as Conjectures
  14. 8 Bayesian Rationality and Social Epistemology
    1. 8.1 The Sexes: From Battle to Ballet
    2. 8.2 The Choreographer Trumps Backward Induction
    3. 8.3 Convention as Correlated Equilibrium
    4. 8.4 The Social Epistemology of Common Priors
    5. 8.5 The Social Epistemology of Common Knowledge
    6. 8.6 Social Norms
    7. 8.7 Game Theory and the Evolution of Norms
  15. 9 Common Knowledge and Nash Equilibrium
    1. 9.1 Nash Equilibrium in Two-Player Games
    2. 9.2 The Modal Logic of Common Knowledge
    3. 9.3 The Commonality of Knowledge
    4. 9.4 The Demise of Methodological Individualism
  16. 10 The Analytics of Human Sociality
    1. 10.1 Explaining Cooperation: An Overview
    2. 10.2 The Folk Theorem
    3. 10.3 Cooperation with Private Signaling
    4. 10.4 One Cheer for the Folk Theorem
    5. 10.5 Altruistic Punishing in the Public Goods Game
    6. 10.6 The Failure of Models of Self-Regarding Cooperation
  17. 11 The Unification of the Behavioral Sciences
    1. 11.1 Gene-Culture Coevolution: The Biological Model
    2. 11.2 Biological and Cultural Dynamics
    3. 11.3 The Socio-Psychological Theory of Norms
    4. 11.4 Socialization and the Internalization of Norms
    5. 11.5 Varieties of Behavioral Modeling
    6. 11.6 Society as a Complex Adaptive System
    7. 11.7 The Behavioral Disciplines Can Be Unified
  18. 12 Summary
    1. 12.1 Game Theory
    2. 12.2 Commonality of Beliefs
    3. 12.3 The Limits of Rationality
    4. 12.4 Social Norms as Correlated Equilibria
    5. 12.5 Reason Is Bounded by Sociality, Not Irrationality
  19. 13 Table of Symbols
  20. References
  21. Subject Index
  22. Author Index