A review of the book paradoxes in politics by steven j brams

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A review of the book paradoxes in politics by steven j brams

Paradoxes of Fair Division 93 4. They May Be Incompatible 97 4. Their Incompatibility with Other Criteria 4. Modeling Frustration and Anger 7. Overcoming Frustration with a Credible Threat 7.

From Self-Frustration to Murder 7. Magnanimity after Wars 8.

A review of the book paradoxes in politics by steven j brams

Moving, Order, and Threat Power 9. Cyclic Games In the natural sciences, game theory provides a theoretical foundation for evolutionary biology, offering compelling explanations of competition in nature.

By comparison, game theory has only sporadically been applied to the humanities, broadly conceived. Disciplines in the humanities represent a world we do not normally associate with mathematical calculations of strategic interaction and rational choice. Nonetheless, a key aspect of our humanity is our ability to think rationally about alternative choices, selecting the one that best satisfies our goals.

Game theory provides a calculus for this selection when we face other players, often with conflicting goals, in strategic situations. The applications of game theory I make in this book are to philosophy and political philosophy, religion as illustrated by stories in the Hebrew Bibletheology, law, history, and literature—including short stories, plays, epic poems, and novels—to which game theory offers important, and sometimes startling, new insights.

As for the other humanities, game theory has little to say about the visual arts, such as painting, or music, with the exception of the strategic insights it offers into the choices characters make in operas and musicals.

Likewise, game theory has not contributed much to cultural studies by anthropologists and other scholars, although the misperceptions of players in two historical situations analyzed here the Cuban missile crisis and the — Iranian hostage crisis might be attributed in part to the cultural differences of the players.

Neither has game theory shed much light on the learning of languages, but there are important applications of game theory to linguistics. In addition, I touch upon the corruption of law in my discussion of medieval witch trials as catchs and in my analysis of fair-division paradoxes, which raise questions about equity and jurisprudence.

By and large, I use game theory to interpret texts, whether they be historical documents, fictional accounts, or some mixture, such as the Bible. This strategic exegesis of texts helps one relate the goals of characters to their choices and their consequences. Coupled with standard game theory, TOM helps to unify and render coherent the diverse contents of this book.

TOM is especially useful in illuminating the dynamics of player choices, at least insofar as players think ahead when contemplating their moves. It also facilitates the analysis of misperceptions and deception by players, the exercise of different kinds of power, and the use of threats and related stratagems.

These games offer a strategic perspective of a larger playing field, providing conditions under which different outcomes may occur in classes of games. This is the role, I believe, that a theory should play.

Admittedly, it makes harder reading than the application of TOM to a specific story, but the reward is that the theory enables one to think beyond this story, describing what, in general, is likely to occur in similar, but not identical, situations. To help the reader, there is a glossary of more technical terms at the end of the book.

Applications of game theory and TOM are not without controversy. It is sometimes alleged, for example, that these theories are cold-blooded and lifeless, suitable only for cool, cerebral thinkers who calculate rather than feel.

By contrast, characters in both history and fiction have intense Preface xi feelings and strong emotions, which some critics claim mathematical theories, austere and remote, are incapable of capturing.

I agree that emotions play a central role in the decisions humans make at all levels, from interpersonal to international.

But how they arise is not so mysterious. Indeed, rather than covering up emotions, TOM enables one to identify the games in which feelings such as anger are likely to be expressed and, moreover, are rational responses to trying situations.

Pleasingly, TOM shows that anger and other negative emotions need not exacerbate conflict but may, in fact, ameliorate it. Indeed, as people struggle to attain acceptable, if not perfect, outcomes, knowledge of game theory and TOM may, in practical terms, help them achieve happier and more productive lives.

Acknowledgments I am grateful to several people who read an early version of this book, or some of its chapters, and provided me with valuable comments: Gustavo Camilo, Shamarah J.

I also benefited from the helpful suggestions of anonymous reviewers.

American political scientists

I thank the publishers, acknowledged in footnotes in each chapter, who kindly permitted me to adapt material from previous publications for this book. I also thank my coauthors of these publications—Morton D. Marc Kilgour, Ben D. Larroca for a student paper on which part of chapter 6 is based.The Paperback of the Paradoxes in Politics: An Introduction to the Nonobvious in Political Science by Steven J.

Brams at Barnes & Noble. FREE Shipping. Paradoxes in Politics: An Introduction to the Nonobvious in Political Science. "In a recent study [Steven J.

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Brams and Samuel Merrill III, 'Would Ross Perot Have Won the Presidential Election under Approval Voting?' in PS: Political Science and Politics, Vol. 27, No. 1, pages ; March, ], we projected the likely outcome had approval voting been used in the three-cornered presidential election.

Based on. --Steven J. Brams, Department of Poltics, New York University, and author of Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures " Gaming the Vote is a must-read for anyone interested in the process and outcomes of voting.2/5.

In this illuminating and instructive survey, author Steven J. Brams demonstrates both the insights and the pitfalls that can result from applying game theoretic . Game theory is the study of mathematical models of strategic interaction between rational decision-makers. It has applications in all fields of social science, as well as in logic and computer initiativeblog.comally, it addressed zero-sum games, in which one person's gains result in losses for the other initiativeblog.com, game theory applies to a wide range . Approval Voting Second Edition Steven J. Brams Peter C. Fishburn Approval Voting Second Edition Springe] Steven J. Brams New York University Department of Politics New York, NY USA s t e v e n. b r a m s @initiativeblog.com

(Under his real name, the Rev. Charles Dodgson, he analyzed election paradoxes and advocated treating voting as a game of skill.) Mr. Poundstone cites leading scholars, among them Steven J. Brams and the Nobel laureate Kenneth J.

Arrow, both of whom give their endorsement to this valuable book. Escalation processes are found in many types of international conflict.

However, a great deal of the theoretical and empirical literature on escalation is context specific and concentrates on explaining the outcomes of an escalation process. -Steven J. Brams, Department of Poltics, New York University, and author of Mathematics and Democracy: Designing Better Voting and Fair-Division Procedures"Gaming the Vote is a must-read for anyone interested in the process and outcomes of voting.

initiativeblog.com - New York Times review of Poundstone's book