Evolution of the Social Contract

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In this new edition of Evolution of the Social Contract, Brian Skyrms uses evolutionary game theory to analyze the genesis of social contracts and investigates social phenomena including justice, communication, altruism, and bargaining. Featuring new material on evolution and information transfer, and including recent developments in game theory and evolution literature, his book introduces and applies appropriate concepts of equilibrium and evolutionary dynamics, showing how key issues can be modeled as games and considering the ways in which evolution sometimes supports, and sometimes does not support, rational choice. He discusses topics including how bargaining with neighbors promotes sharing of resources, the diversity of behavior in ultimatum bargaining in small societies, the Prisoner's Dilemma, and an investigation into signaling games and the spontaneous emergence of meaningful communication. His book will be of great interest to readers in philosophy of science, social science, evolutionary biology, game and decision theory, and political theory.