Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolution 

Evolution and the Theory of Games

By: JM Smith

224 pages, Figs, tabs

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Oct 1982 [2001 reprint] | #5404 | ISBN: 0521288843
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NHBS Price: £45.99 $59/€50 approx

About this book

Account of the theory of games leading to testable predictions about the evolution of behaviour, of sex and genetic systems, and of growth and life history patterns.

Of those two near-contradictory things publishers say about a book, that it is 'seminal' and that it is 'long-awaited', Evolution and the Theory of Games somehow manages to make me think of both at once...This is a book that must be read by every serious ethologist/sociobiologist...It is unmistakably a brilliant book by one of the most important contributors to ethology in its history, still at the height of his powers. The only reason we don't call him an ethologist is that he is so much else besides...the gems of wisdom and biological insight are still there on every page, and ethologists can spend many happy field sessions testing the ideas here. Richard Dawkins, Animal Behaviour


1. Introduction; 2. The basic model; 3. The war of attrition; 4. Games with genetic models; 5. Learning the ESS; 6. Mixed strategies-I. A classification of mechanisms; 7. Mixed strategies-II. Examples; 8. Asymmetric games-I. Ownership; 9. Asymmetric games-II. A classification, and some illustrative examples; 10. Asymmetric games-III. Sex and generation games; 11. Life history strategies and the size game; 12. Honesty, bargaining and commitment; 13. The evolution of cooperation; 14. Postscript; Appendices.

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