Game Theory and Social Science

Uri Weiss*, Joseph Agassi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The place of game theory in contemporary scholarship is problematic. Although its inventors have presented it by the names “Theory of Games and Economic Behaviour” it is as related to economics as to sociology, politology, and even peace studies. It is not clear at all how what it adds to these fields integrates in them. Discussions of games begin with descriptions of them, not descriptions of who plays them and why. If we know about any interaction between people, what they expect of it, what rules they follow, and how their assessments of each other’s possible move influence their decisions, then there is hardly any difficulty to present it as a game in the format of game theory. We may have little difficulty to assume that people interact for some purposes and that their assessments of each other’s moves may influence their own decisions. (Even though these assumptions are not always true, they are true often enough to justify the study of such cases.) Still, why should we assume that the rules of any game are given? Perhaps when discussing the economic behaviour of entrepreneurs we may admit that they often take the rules for their conduct as given. But when discussing interactions between delegations that negotiate peace, for a different kind of example, such an assumption is scarcely ever tenable. The same goes for legislation. Yet these days game theoretical discussions often spill over to matters of legislation and of peace making.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages23
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NameStudies in Systems, Decision and Control
ISSN (Print)2198-4182
ISSN (Electronic)2198-4190


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