Game Theory and the Humanities

22 - 25 April 2014

Venue: Lorentz Center@Snellius

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Game theory has only sporadically been applied to the humanities, broadly conceived.  Disciplines in the humanities represent a world we do not normally associate with mathematical calculations of strategic interaction and rational choice. Nonetheless, a key aspect of our humanity is our ability to think rationally about alternative choices, selecting the one that best satisfies our goals.  Game theory provides a calculus for this selection when we face other players, often with conflicting goals, in strategic situations.   

Applications of game theory have been made to philosophy, religion and the Bible, theology, law, history, and literature (including short stories, plays, epic poems, and novels).  In each of these fields, game theory models offer important, and sometimes startling, new strategic insights.

We propose a workshop that will bring together game theorists, and humanists in different fields, in order to to explore how a strategic perspective, rooted in game theory, may inform the humanities as well as be informed by them.  The main objective of this workshop is to show how game theory can be applied to different fields within the humanities in order to better explain, or predict, the behavior of people in different strategic situations of conflict and cooperation that are studied within the humanities.


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