Social Norms and Game Theory: Harmony or Discord?

Cedric Paternotte*, Jonathan Grose

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Recent years have witnessed an increased number of game-theoretic approaches to social norms, which apparently share some common vocabulary and methods. We describe three major approaches of this kind (due to Binmore, Bicchieri, and Gintis), before comparing them systematically on five crucial themes: generality of the solution, preference transformation, punishment, epistemic conditions, and type of explanation. This allows us to show that these theories are, by and large, less compatible than they seem. We then argue that those three theories struggle to account for three phenomena pertaining to social norms (namely context dependence, conflicting norms, and self-evidence), with which any complete game-theoretic account should in principle be able to deal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)551-587
Number of pages37
JournalBritish Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Volume64
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2013

Keywords

  • GENE-CULTURE COEVOLUTION
  • DICTATOR GAME
  • FAIRNESS
  • ALTRUISM

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