Modeling social and evolutionary games

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When game theory was introduced to biology, the components of classic game theory models were replaced with elements more befitting evolutionary phenomena. The actions of intelligent agents are replaced by phenotypic traits; utility is replaced by fitness; rational deliberation is replaced by natural selection. In this paper, I argue that this classic conception of comprehensive reapplication is misleading, for it overemphasizes the discontinuity between human behavior and evolved traits. Explicitly considering the representational roles of evolutionary game theory brings to attention neglected areas of overlap, as well as a range of evolutionary possibilities that are often overlooked. The clarifications this analysis provides are well-illustrated by—and particularly valuable for—game theoretic treatments of the evolution of social behavior.
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Theory of Games and Economic Behavior.von Neumann, John & Morgenstern, Oskar

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