Collective Rationality: Equilibrium in Cooperative Games

Paperback | June 6, 2012

byPaul Weirich

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Groups of people perform acts that are subject to standards of rationality. A committee may sensibly award fellowships, or may irrationally award them in violation of its own policies. A theory of collective rationality defines collective acts that are evaluable for rationality and formulatesprinciples for their evaluation. This book argues that a group's act is evaluable for rationality if it is the products of acts its members fully control. It also argues that such an act is collectively rational if the acts of the group's members are rational. Efficiency is a goal of collectiverationality, but not a requirement, except in cases where conditions are ideal for joint action and agents have rationally prepared for joint action.The people engaged in a game of strategy form a group, and the combination of their acts yields a collective act. If their collective act is rational, it constitutes a solution to their game. A theory of collective rationality yields principles concerning solutions to games. One principle requiresthat a solution constitute an equilibrium among the incentives of the agents in the game. In a cooperative game some agents are coalitions of individuals, and it may be impossible for all agents to pursue all incentives. Because rationality is attainable, the appropriate equilibrium standard forcooperative games requires that agents pursue only incentives that provide sufficient reasons to act. The book's theory of collective rationality supports an attainable equilibrium-standard for solutions to cooperative games and shows that its realization follows from individuals' rational acts.By extending the theory of rationality to groups, this book reveals the characteristics that make an act evaluable for rationality and the way rationality's evaluation of an act responds to the type of control its agent exercises over the act. The book's theory of collective rationality contributesto philosophical projects such as contractarian ethics and to practical projects such as the design of social institutions.

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Groups of people perform acts that are subject to standards of rationality. A committee may sensibly award fellowships, or may irrationally award them in violation of its own policies. A theory of collective rationality defines collective acts that are evaluable for rationality and formulatesprinciples for their evaluation. This book a...

Paul Weirich is Curators' Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Missouri-Columbia.

other books by Paul Weirich

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:June 6, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199929017

ISBN - 13:9780199929016

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Table of Contents

1. Rationality Writ Large1.1. Collective Acts1.2. Method1.3. Guide2. Agents and Acts2.1. Agents2.2. Acts2.3. Control2.4. Evaluability3. Rationality3.1. Metatheory3.2. Attainability3.3. Comprehensiveness3.4. Compositionality4. Groups4.1. Extension4.2. Efficiency4.3. Collective Utility4.4. Compositionality5. Games of Strategy5.1. Games5.2. Solutions5.3. Standards6. Equilibrium6.1. Standards and Procedures6.2. Utility Maximization6.3. Self-Support6.4. Strategic Equilibrium6.5. Realization of an Equilibrium6.6. Appendix: Realization of a Nash Equilibrium7. Coordination7.1. Strategy and Learning7.2. Changing the Rules7.3. An Efficient Equilibrium7.4. Preparation7.5. Intentions8. Cooperative Games8.1. Joint Action8.2. Opportunities for Joint Action8.3. Coalitional Games8.4. The Core8.5. An Empty Core9. Strategy for Coalitions9.1. A Coalition's Incentives9.2. Paths of Incentives9.3. Strategic Equilibrium in Coalitional Games10. Illustrations and Comparisons10.1. The Majority-Rule Game10.2. Comparisons10.3. Conflict10.4. Collective Standards11. Compositionality11.1. Underlying Games11.2. Confirmation11.3. Agreement Games11.4. The Core and Utility Maximization11.5. Strategic Equilibrium and Self-Support12. Implications12.1. Social Institutions12.2. Strategic Equilibrium and Institutions12.3. Theoretical Unity12.4. Future ResearchNotesReferencesIndex