Politics as Transcending the Prisoner´s Dilemma Cover Image

A politika mint a fogolydilemma meghaladása
Politics as Transcending the Prisoner´s Dilemma

Author(s): János Tóth I.
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: MTA Politikai Tudományi Intézete
Keywords: Game theory; free rider; violation; altruism; common good and bad;

Summary/Abstract: Under the conditions of non-cooperative game theory the mutual defection that is the Pareto inferior Nash equilibrium is necessary in the two and multiperson prisoner’s dilemma. Using the terminology of political philosophy the state of nature is characterized by the “common bad”, and this is unacceptable for the community. John Elster (1976) is right when defi ning politics as ”the study of ways of transcending the Prisoner’s Dilemma”. Several authors (Olson 1965, Ostrom 1990, Boda 2013) also emphasize that politics is essentially nothing else than to prevent failures of collective action. The cooperative game theory can help point out that there is no opportunity either for the spontaneous cooperation, or the social contract in the prisoner’s dilemma. Evolutionary game theory offers opportunities for the spontaneous formation of the conditional cooperation only in special cases. In the same time, the evolution gives possibility for “external” transcending of the prisoner’s dilemma by new types of agents and new types of institutions associated. Using the terminology of political philosophy this paper examines how a population from the bad state of nature gets to a better and better social status by evolutionary processes. My argumentation is that the new form of cooperative solutions also has serious defi ciencies that require more and more answers.

  • Issue Year: XXIV/2015
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 7-30
  • Page Count: 24
  • Language: Hungarian