Introduction: Ramism and Game Theory
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Game theory is shorthand for John von Neumann’s theory of games of strategy. This introduction summarizes the game-theoretic terms relevant to Section 2 of this book. A game of strategy is a plan that neither enemy action nor nature can upset. Each strategic participant in a game is a player. The outcome to a game depends on the players’ choices. Peter Ramus tried to establish a dialectical logic that abides by categorical and hypothetical propositions. Problems of interhuman coordination often present players with the choice of cooperation or defection. The social dilemmas of Deadlock, the Prisoner’s Dilemma, the Assurance Game (or Stag Hunt), and Chicken are the most prevalent games of strategy. Ramus promoted decision trees; game theory employs decision trees; Ramus anticipated von Neumann.