Today I offer a few papers on argumentation, game theory, and culture. My notes below — I am sure this will morph into a full-scale blog post at some point. A good reading list (short but dense) nonetheless.
Brandenburger, A. and Keisler, H.J. An Impossibility Theorem on Beliefs in Games. Studia Logica, 84(2), 211-240 (2006).
* shows that any two-player game is embedded in a system of reflexive, meta-cognitive beliefs. Players not only model payoffs that maximize their utility, but also model the beliefs of the other player. The resulting “belief model” cannot be completely self-consistent: beliefs about beliefs have holes which serve as sources of logical incompleteness.
What is Russell’s Paradox? Scientific American, August 17 (1998).
* intorduction to a logical paradox which can be resolved by distinguishing between sets and sets that describe sets using a hierarchical classification method. This paradox is the basis for the Brandenburger and Keisler paper.
Mercier, H. and Sperber, D. Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory. Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 34, 57-111 (2011).
The Argumentative Theory: a conversation with Hugo Mercier. Edge Magazine, April 27 (2011).
Oaksford, M. Normativity, interpretation, and Bayesian models. Frontiers in Psychology, 5, 332 (2014).
* a new-ish take on culture and cognition called argumentation theory. Rather than reasoning to maximize individual utility, reasoning is done to maximize argumentative context. This includes decision-making that optimizes ideonational consistency. This theory predicts phenomena such as epistemic closure, and might be thought of as a postmodern version of rational agent theory.
There also seems to be an underlying connection between the “holes” is a culturally-specific argument and the phenomenon of conceptual blending, but that is a topic for another post.