Event Detail
Wed Oct 17, 2018 234 Moses Hall, 6:10–7:30 PM |
Working Group in the History and Philosophy of Logic, Mathematics, and Science Eric Pacuit (University of Maryland, College Park) Strategic reasoning: From beliefs about mistakes to mistaken beliefs |
A crucial assumption underlying any game-theoretic analysis is that there is common knowledge that all the players are rational. Rationality is understood in the decision-theoretic sense: The playersâ€™ choices are optimal according to some choice rule (such as maximizing subjective expected utility). Research on the epistemic foundations of game theory is focused on the game-theoretic implications of different notions of rationality and different assumptions about what the players know and believe about each other. In this talk, I will provide a brief overview of this literature. A key question is what should the players assume about how their opponents will interpret their moves in the game? Two prominent answers have been discussed in the literature: forward induction and backward induction. According to the former, players rationalize past behavior and use it as a basis for forming beliefs about future moves. According to the latter, players ignore past behavior and reason only about their opponentsâ€™ future moves. There are sophisticated mathematical models that formalize the implications of each way of reasoning. In this talk, I will consider a different question that has not received as much attention: How should the players choose between the two styles of reasoning? I will present a formal model of strategic reasoning introduced by Brian Skyrms and show how it needs to be modified to address this question.