The World the Game Theorists Made
The World the Game Theorists Made seeks to explain the ascendency of game theory, focusing on the poorly understood period between the publication of John von Neumann and Oscar Morgenstern’s seminal Theory of Games and Economic Behavior in 1944 and the theory’s revival in economics in the 1980s. Drawing on a diverse collection of institutional archives, personal correspondence and papers, and interviews, Paul Erickson shows how game theory offered social scientists, biologists, military strategists, and others a common, flexible language that could facilitate wide-ranging thought and debate on some of the most critical issues of the day.
Chapter 2. Acts of Mathematical Creation
Chapter 3. From “Military Worth” to Mathematical Programming
Chapter 4. Game Theory and Practice in the Postwar Human Sciences
Chapter 5. The Brain and the Bomb
Chapter 6. Game Theory without Rationality
Chapter 7. Dreams of a Final Theory
"In this deeply researched and readable book, historian Erickson chronicles the passage of game theory from mathematical economics to arms-control theory to evolutionary biology, and back to economics. Until now, there has been remarkably little written about the history of game theory since its creation in 1944...Erickson brings a distinctive voice to the material. The book will edify and surprise even specialists, let alone the rest of us, who have to live in a world created by game theorists whether or not we can articulate the pay-offs in the matrix."