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Prisoner's Dilemma doesn't explain much

Northcott, Robert and Alexandrova, Anna (2015) Prisoner's Dilemma doesn't explain much. The Prisoner's Dilemma. pp. 64-84.

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Abstract

We make the case that the Prisoner’s Dilemma, notwithstanding its fame and the quantity of intellectual resources devoted to it, has largely failed to explain any phenomena of social scientific or biological interest. In the heart of the paper we examine in detail a famous purported example of Prisoner’s Dilemma empirical success, namely Axelrod’s analysis of WWI trench warfare, and argue that this success is greatly overstated. Further, we explain why this negative verdict is likely true generally and not just in our case study. We also address some possible defenses of the Prisoner’s Dilemma.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Northcott, Robertr.northcott@bbk.ac.uk
Alexandrova, Annaaa686@cam.ac.uk
Keywords: Prisoner's Dilemma; explanation; Axelrod; World War One; game theory
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Depositing User: Dr Robert Northcott
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2018 17:04
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2018 17:04
Item ID: 15389
Journal or Publication Title: The Prisoner's Dilemma
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Biology > Evolutionary Theory
General Issues > Decision Theory
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Explanation
General Issues > Models and Idealization
Specific Sciences > Sociology
Date: 2015
Page Range: pp. 64-84
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15389

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