Game theory is central to understanding human behavior and relevant to all of the behavioral sciences—from biology and economics, to anthropology and political science. However, as The Bounds of Reason demonstrates, game theory alone cannot fully explain human behavior and should instead complement other key concepts championed by the behavioral disciplines. Herbert Gintis shows that just as game theory without broader social theory is merely technical bravado, so social theory without game theory is a handicapped enterprise. This edition has been thoroughly revised and updated.
Reinvigorating game theory, The Bounds of Reason offers innovative thinking for the behavioral sciences.
Herbert Gintis holds faculty positions at the Santa Fe Institute and Central European University. He is the author of Game Theory Evolving (Princeton), coauthor of A Cooperative Species: Human Reciprocity and Its Evolution with Samuel Bowles (Princeton), and the coeditor of numerous books, including Moral Sentiments and Material Interests, Unequal Chances (Princeton), and Foundations of Human Sociality.
"The Bounds of Reason appears as two books in one. One part develops an epistemic theory of the rational actor as an alternative to what is provided by classical game theory, and the other part is a spirited plea to use behavioral game theory as a unifying tool in all behavioral sciences. Both objectives are highly valuable, but combing them both creates friction. Friction creates heat, and Gintis, who thrives gleefully on controversial issues, may be enjoying the prospect of heated discussions."--Karl Sigmund, American Scientist
"Gintis' work reflects an amazing breadth of knowledge of the behavioural sciences. He is ever ready to pose unusual questions and to defend unorthodox proposals. The Bounds of Reason is Gintis' most ambitious project to date, one that draws upon all of his extraordinary originality and learning."--Peter Vanderschraaf, Journal of Economics and Philosophy
"The book is a combination of an excellent textbook on game theory and an innovation treatise advocating the unification of the behavioural sciences and refounding of game theory on different epistemic foundations. . . . It is clearly an important contribution to the current debate over the rational actor model that the rise of behaviourial economics has provoked."--Oxonomics
"Gintis contributes importantly to a new insight gaining ascendancy: economy is about the unintended consequences of human sociality. This book is firmly in the revolutionary tradition of David Hume (Convention) and Adam Smith (Sympathy)."--Vernon L. Smith, Nobel Prize-winning economist
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Herbert Gintis: