Books  Evolutionary Biology  Evolutionary Biology 

Evolution of the Social Contract

Provides a new perspective on social contract bargaining, commitment, and altruism through a game theoretic analysis
Offers a fuller account of the genesis of the social contract by contrasting evolution with rational choice
Features discussion of the evolution of signals and spontaneous generation of meaning

By: Brian Skyrms (Author)

180 pages, 5 b/w illustrations, 1 table

Cambridge University Press

Paperback | Oct 2014 | Edition: 2 | #215065 | ISBN-13: 9781107434288
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £20.99 $26/€24 approx
Hardback | Oct 2014 | Edition: 2 | #215064 | ISBN-13: 9781107077287
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £56.99 $70/€64 approx

About this book

In this new edition of Evolution of the Social Contract, Brian Skyrms uses evolutionary game theory to analyze the genesis of social contracts and investigates social phenomena including justice, communication, altruism, and bargaining. Featuring new material on evolution and information transfer, and including recent developments in game theory and evolution literature, his book introduces and applies appropriate concepts of equilibrium and evolutionary dynamics, showing how key issues can be modelled as games and considering the ways in which evolution sometimes supports, and sometimes does not support, rational choice. He discusses topics including how bargaining with neighbours promotes sharing of resources, the diversity of behavior in ultimatum bargaining in small societies, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and an investigation into signalling games and the spontaneous emergence of meaningful communication. His book will be of great interest to readers in philosophy of science, social science, evolutionary biology, game and decision theory, and political theory.


Preface to the second edition
Preface to the original edition

1. Sex and justice
2. Fairness and commitment
3. Mutual aid
4. Correlated convention
5. The evolution of meaning


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Brian Skyrms is Distinguished Professor of Logic and Philosophy of Science and of Economics at the University of California, Irvine and Professor of Philosophy at Stanford University. His publications include The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure (Cambridge University Press, 2004), Signals: Evolution, Learning, and Information (2010), From Zeno to Arbitrage: Essays on Quantity, Coherence, and Induction (2012) and Evolution of the Social Contract (1st edition, Cambridge University Press, 1996), which won the 1999 Lakatos Award in Philosophy of Science.

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