1st Edition

Critical Game Theory Humanistic and Radical Alternatives to the Mainstream

By Wayne Eastman Copyright 2024
    240 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The models in mainstream game theory generally assume that actors act according to a single, consistent utility function. Empirical studies, common sense, and humanistic wisdom all suggest that that assumption is too simple. This book starts with an assumption that actors are controlled by diverse, inconsistent forces and demonstrates that introducing this level of complexity allows for the creation of critical game theory models that can help to attain new insights into nature, human nature, human institutions, and human behavior.

    The book begins with an evolutionary, or Evo, model in which the players have concerns for the other player as well as egoistic interests. Part I analyzes the Prisoner’s Dilemma using a literary, or Lit, model in which the players have entropic, or Entro, masochistic and sadistic drives as well as altruistic and egoistic ones. Part II suggests that the Lit model opens the door to a “where Entro is, let Evo be” critical perspective on politics. Part III considers how core stories in mainstream game theory can be usefully supplemented and deepened by critical models and reflects on possible futures for critical game theory. The discussion of games and subgames includes poems as well as matrices, in pursuit of a mode of presentation that respects the complex, simultaneously humanistic and scientific qualities of critical game theory.

    The vision of critical game theory advanced in the book will be of significant interest to researchers in an array of theoretical and applied disciplines, including but not limited to literature, psychology, political science, economics, computer science, ethics, business ethics, law, and law and economics.

    Acknowledgements; Prelude Lit, Evo, and Econ; Teaching/Learning Notes; Postlude 1 Egoism and Altruism Science Poetry: Lucretius Refects; The Altru Superego and Altru ID Play a Game; The Unhappy Altruist: The Altru I serves the Ego It; Schelling Explains; The Joy of Cooking: Rombauer is Referenced; Two Ego Players Make Their Recipes PART I The Prisoner’s Dilemma Reimagined 2 Lit and its Laws; Daffodils and Dalmatians: Crusoc—a Cruella-Socrates AI Dog—Describes Their Recent Trial; Law: Pluto—a Plato AI Dog—Visits Crusoc in Prison 3 Symmetry: We Are the Same; Reading Gaol: An Ego Prisoner Refects; John Nash Talks with Crusoc; Silent as the Grave: An Altru Prisoner Refects; Kongqiu Talks with Crusoc; Frustration: A Maso Prisoner Reflects; Nietzsche Writes to Crusoc; In Spite: A Sado Prisoner Reflects; Crusoc Replies to Nietzsche 4 One of Us Is Self-Oriented, One of Us Is Other-Oriented; You Love Me More: An Altru Prisoner Sacrifices; Crusoc Talks with Mary Shelley; Our Son: An Altru Mother Sacrifices; Andrea Dworkin Talks with Crusoc; Pyre: Arjuna talks with Crusoc; A Maso Prisoner Muses; Prometheus: Marx talks with Crusoc; A Sado Prisoner Rejoices 5 One of Us Is Evo, One of Us Is Entro; Make or Break: A Prisoner Reflects; Crusoc tells Pluto a Story; I’m Going Down: A Prisoner’s Maso Manifesto; Laozi Talks with Crusoc; Fickle: An Altru Prisoner Talks to a Sado One; Aristotle Weighs In; Rebellion: A Prisoner Reflects; Crusoc Talks with Martin Luther King; 6 We Are Opposed; Strikeout: A Prisoner Laments; Rousseau Accuses Crusoc; Bonnie and Clyde: Bonnie Says Goodbye; Crusoc Pleads; Therapy: A Maso-Altru Convo; Freud talks with Crusoc; The End of the Affair: Crusoc and Xan Plead; Hits and Misses: Pluto Describes Crusoc’s Last Day; Xan Rebukes Pluto PART II Radicalism Reimagined 7 Where Entro Is, Let Evo Be; We Can Fly: D’arcemplato Tells Crusoc to Be Bold; Anti-Matter: Emma Tells Crusoc to Be Careful 8 American Unfreedom; Bodiless Programs: Crusoc Asks to Be Put on Trial; D’arcemplato and Crusoc Discuss the Bases for Self-Governing Communities; We’re Equal: Crusoc Asserts Moral Parity Between Ancient Athens and America and Calls for Different Camps to Ally; Divergence: Crusoc Calls for Self-Governance; D’arcemplato Expresses a Reservation; Elite Secession: Emma G. Argues for Anarchy, Crusoc for Regulation 9 Unser Ding; Are You Sorry? Marx and Nietzsche Reminisce; Angela-Karl and Annalena-Friedrich Ask the Polis for Support; Germania: Friedrich and Annalena Discuss Election Strategy; Rage: Nietzsche Keeps his Mouth Shut with Hegel; Art: D’arcemplato Wonders About the Limits of Cultural Freedom 10 The President of the World; Populocracy: Nehru-Buddha and Gandhi-Durga Discuss Their Chances in the Election; Medianocracy: Mao-Lao and Chiang-Kong Strategize; Evocracy: Durga and Mao Answer Questions in a Debate; Wrong: Jeferson Repents, in Part; Nehru, Buddha, and Durga Discuss the Election Result 11 Neuropolitics; Fugazi: Crusoc Apologizes to the Jurors; Us: Dwormarc and D’arcemplato Argue, Xan Intervenes; Neurodivergence Rules: Xan, D’arcemplato, and Dwormarc Take Different Positions on Crusoc’s Trial; The Verdict: Crusoc Asks for Forgiveness; Dwormarc, D’arcemplato, Li Bai, and Xan Weigh in; the Jury Decides PART III The Contribution of Critical Game Theory 12 What Critical Game Theory Adds to Mainstream Game Theory, MGT Story 1: Which Passing Shot? MGT Story 2: The GPA Rat Race, MGT Story 3: "Which Tire?" MGT Story 4: Why Are Professors So Mean? MGT Story 5: Roommates on the Brink MGT Story 6: The Dating Game MGT Story 7: Commensurability MGT Story 8: Transitivity MGT Story 9: No Money Pumps MGT Story 10: Independence MGT Story 11: Interchangeability MGT Story 12a: Randomization, Redux, Part 1 MGT Story 12b: Randomization, Redux, Part 2 MGT Story 12c: Randomization, Redux, Part 3 A Note on Kantian Randomization Chapter Teaching/Learning Notes 13 Critical Game Theory and Different Disciplines I. Econ: Philosophical Economics II. Evo: History, Political Science, Sociology, Anthropology III. Lit: Literary Criticism, Literature, Psychology, Religion IV. Futures: Possible Directions for CGT, Postlude


    Wayne Eastman is Professor in the Supply Chain Management Department at Rutgers Business School, USA.