Shaun P Hargreaves Heap and Yanis Varoufakis

Game Theory: A critical text

Game theory has sometimes been claimed to be a natural centrepiece for the study of the social sciences. Game Theory: A critical text gives an explanation of the theory for social scientists, looking at topics such as the prisoners dilemma, evolutionary games and psychological games, showing in each case how game theory can be applied to social situations. However the book also discusses many of game theory's failings, thus contesting the excessive claims made for the subject. For instance Nash equilibria are described, followed by many examples in which they quite clearly do not agree with the way people actually behave.

The second edition of this book is more textbooky than the first. This provides a more comprehensive treatment of game theory, and it also gets away from one of the problems of the first edition which was that the discussions began to all look the same after a while. However, the changes do make the book less suitable for those who are interested in the discussions, rather than the technical details. It would be a pity if this meant that fewer people read the book as the discussions are very useful, not just for those interested in game theory or the rationality of human behaviour, but also as an indication of the current status of ideas such as postmodernism and marxism, and indeed of sociology itself.

Amazon.com info
Paperback 384 pages  
ISBN: 0415250951
Salesrank: 190464
Published: 2004 Routledge
Amazon price $75.05
Marketplace:New from $66.80:Used from $42.26
Buy from Amazon.com
Amazon.co.uk info
Paperback 384 pages  
ISBN: 0415250951
Salesrank: 1411449
Weight:2.48 lbs
Published: 2004 Routledge
Amazon price £42.69
Marketplace:New from £39.90:Used from £27.10
Buy from Amazon.co.uk
Amazon.ca info
Paperback 384 pages  
ISBN: 0415250951
Salesrank: 698139
Weight:2.48 lbs
Published: 2004 Routledge
Amazon price CDN$ 106.14
Marketplace:New from CDN$ 82.89:Used from CDN$ 46.09
Buy from Amazon.ca





Product Description
In recent years game theory has swept through all of the social sciences. Its practitioners have great designs for it, claiming that it offers an opportunity to unify the social sciences and that it it the natural foundation of a rational theory of society. Game Theory is for those who are intrigued but baffled by these claims, and daunted by the technical demands of most introductions to the subject.

Requiring no more than simple arithmetic, the book:


* Traces the origins of Game Theory and its philosophical premises

* Looks at its implications for the theory of bargaining and social contract theory

* Gives a detailed exposition of all of the major `games' including the famous `prisoner's dilemma'

* Analyses cooperative, non cooperative, repeated, evolutionary and experimental games