Methodology as ideology: mathematical modeling of trench warfare
AbstractThe Evolution of Cooperation, by Axelrod (1984), is a highly influential study that identifies the benefits of cooperative strategies in the iterated prisoner’s dilemma. We argue that the most extensive historical analysis in the book, a study of cooperative behavior in First World War trenches, is in error. Contrary to Axelrod’s claims, there soldiers in the Western Front were not generally in a prisoner’s dilemma (iterated or otherwise), and their cooperative behavior can be explained much more parsimoniously as immediately reducing their risks. We discuss the political implications of this misapplication of game theory.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.
Volume (Year): (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
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Cooperation; First World War; Game Theory; Prisoner’s Dilemma;
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