László Mérö: Mindenki másképp
357 pages (Hungary 1996 )
egyforma (Moral Calculations - Game Theory, Logic and Human Frailty)
Game theory has provided an extremely efficient tool not only in addressing the mathematical problems of parlor games, but also in modeling several kinds of conflict among humans, animals, countries, etc. This book introduces the basic concepts of game theory in a definitely non-technical way, with many amusing examples.
At the beginning, the examples are taken from the everyday life, showing how game theory can help in making optimal decisions in very difficult situations. Later, as the reader gets more and more absorbed in the nature of problems that can extremely well be handled within the framework of game theory, unexpected and profound analogies arise with the basic problems of several domains of sciences. Game theory proves to be an excellent framework for acquiring general understanding of the reasons of diversity appearing at very different domains, from quantum physics to the animal kingdom, and even human thought.
The book is well accessible for a general intellectual audience, even for those not knowing more of mathematics than the fist four rules. This book provides an entertaining spiritual adventure for senior high school students, or undergraduates, but even professionals in the fields of humanities, psychology, sciences, or mathematics will find it a challenging and thought-provoking piece of reading.
The book consists of three major parts. The fist part introduces the basic concepts of the game theory developed by John Neumann. Instead of technical details, the treatment is focusing on the structural features of game theory, by paying special respects to its effectiveness in resolving hard ethical or decision making problems. Many kinds of conflict situations and social traps are investigated in an easily intelligible way, saturated with humor.
In the second part, the extreme usefulness of game theory is demonstrated in five specific domains of science. Game theoretical models are applied to the fields of mathematics, psychology, evolutionary biology, economics and quantum physics. The complex entirety of these applications demonstrates how dramatically new solutions can be obtained to several of the classical problems of sciences with using the game theoretical approach. Game theory is shown to offer a general principle (a sameness) that may appear in many clothes and underlies the great variety of diversity in the physical and biological world.
The treatment of the problems in the specific domains is completely self-contained: the problems are drawn up with an unusual clearness, without requiring any specific knowledge from the reader. The five chapters of Part Two can be considered as stand-alone essays on five very different scientific problems that are very important on their own right, and that prove inherently similar when regarded through the glasses of game theory.
In the third part the models introduced so far are applied to the everyday life. This part pries into the essential nature of reason. A sophisticated distinction is made between logical and rational approaches. A great deal of research in psychology indicate that a genuine, purely rational thought might prove nonexistent in human thinking. Still, kinds of rational behavior are definitely present in everyday life. Game theory offers a way to understand how some mental techniques, that are definitely not purely rational, may result in definitely rational kinds of behavior. Several hard conflicts and emotional dilemmas can be resolved by utilizing the models of game theory in a very efficient way. These considerations shed a completely new light on the notion of reason and rationality.
Kritiken / Reviews:
Berlinske Tidenke (NO)
Rheinischer Merkur (DE)
More works of this writer:
Az elvek csapodár természete (I Have My Principles!)
Uj Észjárások (Habits of Mind)
A pénz evolúciója (The Evolution of Money)
Az Érzelmek Logikája (The Logic of the Emotions)
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