Game Theory and the Hebrew Bible
By (author) Steven J. Brams
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Biblical Games by Steven J. Brams
Book DescriptionIn this unusual book, first published by The MIT Press in 1980 and now updated with a new chapter, Steven Brams applies the mathematical theory of games to the Hebrew Bible. Brams's thesis is that God and the human biblical characters acted rationally--that is, given their preferences and their knowledge of other players' preferences, they made strategy choices that led to the best attainable outcomes.Beginning with the Creation and focusing on those stories richest in conflict and intrigue, Brams uses elementary game-theoretic tools to elucidate the rational calculations of biblical players and to show precisely the manner in which they sought to achieve their goals. He relies almost exclusively on noncooperative theory, making use of both game tree and matrix forms of games. Brams uses his strategic analyses to build a detailed assessment of God's character and motivations, including the reasons for His frequently wrathful behavior. Brams's insights have application to biblical studies, the philosophy of religion, political theory, and game theory and methodology.In the new chapter, Brams surveys the literature of the past twenty years on political-strategic interpretations of the Hebrew Bible. He also extends the game-theoretic analysis, using the theory of moves, to study a counterfactual situation--what if Abraham had refused God's command to sacrifice Isaac?--and to examine the rationality of believing in a superior being.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780262523325
(229mm x 152mm x 12mm)
Imprint: MIT Press
Publisher: MIT Press Ltd
Publish Date: 1-Oct-2002
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Steven J. Brams
Game Theory and the Humanities, Paperback (September 2012)
How game theory can offer insights into literary, historical, and philosophical texts ranging from Macbeth to Supreme Court decisions.
Mathematics and Democracy, Paperback (December 2007)
Voters often desert a preferred candidate for a more viable second choice to avoid wasting their vote. Likewise, parties to a dispute often find themselves unable to agree on a fair division of contested goods. This book shows how social-choice and game theory could make political and social institutions more democratic.
Game Theory and Politics, Paperback (September 2004)» View all books by Steven J. Brams
Many illuminating and instructive examples of the applications of game theoretic models to problems in political science appear in this volume, which requires minimal mathematical background. 1975 edition. 24 figures.
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Author Biography - Steven J. Brams
Steven J. Brams is Professor of Politics at New York University.
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