Defining Cognitive Science: The Eighteenth-Century Origins of the Concept of Mixed-Strategy Equilibrium

Date And Time

Thu, March 12, 2020
12:30 PM – 2:00 PM PST


Fraser-Thompson Room, Diamond Alumni Centre
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, BC V5A 1S6

This paper examines the circumstances surrounding the first historical appearance of the game-theoretical concept of mixed-strategy equilibrium. Despite widespread belief that this concept was developed in the first half of the twentieth century, its origins are in fact to be found in the early eighteenth century. After reconstructing the game analysis of Montmort, Waldegrave, and Bernoulli using modern methods and terminology, SFU Philosophy professor Nicolas Fillion argues that their discussion of the concept of solution to a game also anticipated refinements of the concept of equilibrium that we typically associate with the second half of the twentieth century.

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