How We Cooperate: A Theory of Kantian Optimization

Cover of the book titled "How We Cooperate."

John E. Roemer, the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics

(Yale University Press)

Game theory explains competitive behavior by working from the premise that people are self-interested. People don’t just compete, however; they also cooperate. In “How We Cooperate,” John Roemer argues that attempts by orthodox game theorists to account for cooperation leave much to be desired. Unlike competing players, cooperating players take those actions that they would like others to take — which Roemer calls “Kantian optimization.” Through reasoning and modeling, Roemer demonstrates a simpler theory of cooperative behavior than the standard model provides.

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