The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition

Overview


The Evolution of Cooperation provides valuable insights into the age-old question of whether unforced cooperation is ever possible. Widely praised and much-discussed, this classic book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists-whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals-when there is no central authority to police their actions. The problem of cooperation is central to many different fields. Robert Axelrod recounts the famous computer tournaments in which the “cooperative” ...
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The Evolution of Cooperation: Revised Edition

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Overview


The Evolution of Cooperation provides valuable insights into the age-old question of whether unforced cooperation is ever possible. Widely praised and much-discussed, this classic book explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egoists-whether superpowers, businesses, or individuals-when there is no central authority to police their actions. The problem of cooperation is central to many different fields. Robert Axelrod recounts the famous computer tournaments in which the “cooperative” program Tit for Tat recorded its stunning victories, explains its application to a broad spectrum of subjects, and suggests how readers can both apply cooperative principles to their own lives and teach cooperative principles to others.

The book that explores how cooperation can emerge in a world of self-seeking egotists, when there is no central authority to police their actions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780465005642
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publication date: 12/5/2006
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 264
  • Sales rank: 297,994
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.96 (h) x 0.65 (d)

Meet the Author


Robert Axelrod is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. A MacArthur Prize Fellow, he is a leading expert on game theory, artificial intelligence, evolutionary biology, mathematical modeling, and complexity theory. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
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  • Posted January 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The Evolution of Cooperation

    Every so often a book comes along that is so groundbreaking it changes the popular worldview. This book, written in 1984 by Robert Axelrod, is just such a seminal work, an original analysis that changed the way experts view cooperation. Its ramifications apply to individuals, organizations, countries and even nonthinking ¿ but nevertheless cooperative ¿ biological life forms, such as bacteria. Axelrod based his book on the famous Prisoner¿s Dilemma, a classic game created in 1950 by Merrill Flood and Melvin Dresher of the Rand Corporation. Canadian mathematician Albert W. Tucker added the prison sentence payoffs and gave the game its colorful name. Players have two choices: cooperation or betrayal. Axelrod organized two repeating Prisoner¿s Dilemma tournaments played by computer programs devised by game theorists, scientists and other experts. His analysis of the tournaments¿ results confirmed that cooperation is always a better long-term strategy than betrayal and, thus, evolution has favored it. This book, based on that analysis, has become a true classic. getAbstract suggests that anyone who wants to understand the dynamics of cooperation should start by reading this pivotal, illuminating study.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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