Evolution and the Social Contract – Brian Skyrms (in progress)

In the chapter on commitment, Skryms discusses the theology of commitment. In this section, he states that rationality is not just a word to play around with, but a theory of decision making (theory of rational decision) created by Ramsey, de Finetti, and Savage. By highlighting the importance of this theory, Skryms provides support for the necessity to embed rationality and thought-processes into choice-based or moral-based games. He goes on to state that, “the theory shows that an agent who has a rich, coherent system of choice-dispositions can be endowed with subjective utilities and subjective probabilities such that choice maximizes expected utility..” (41). He also draws attention to the complexity of rational decision processes, however, by remarking that “a choice situation may fall under more than one rule, and then which rule that chooser invokes to characterize or ‘frame’ the situation becomes critical” (43). Despite other repercussions of this argument, in specific regard to narrative system design, Skryms here certainly supports the need for non-binary choices – and likewise choices that allow for the player to think critically within a variety of frames. 

 

*I have not yet finished Skyrms Evolution and the Social Contract, and thus this annotation is incomplete and currently serves to document my thoughts as I continue to read.

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