How We Cooperate A Theory of Kantian Optimization John E. Roemer

Publication date:
11 Jun 2019
Yale University Press
248 pages: 235 x 156 x 19mm
4 b-w illus.

A new theory of how and why we cooperate, drawing from economics, political theory, and philosophy to challenge the conventional wisdom of game theory

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

John E. Roemer is the Elizabeth S. and A. Varick Stout Professor of Political Science and Economics at Yale University. His books include Sustainability for a Warming Planet; Democracy, Education, and Equality; and Political Competition: Theory and Applications.