Jane Austen, Game Theorist

Jane Austen, Game Theorist

Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Print publication date: 2017

ISBN: 9780691162447

Publisher: Princeton University Press

Abstract

Game theory—the study of how people make choices while interacting with others—is one of the most popular technical approaches in social science today. But as this book reveals, Jane Austen explored game theory's core ideas in her six novels roughly 200 years ago—over a century before its mathematical development during the Cold War. The book shows how this beloved writer theorized choice and preferences, prized strategic thinking, and analyzed why superiors are often strategically clueless about inferiors. Exploring a diverse range of literature and folktales, this book illustrates the wide relevance of game theory and how, fundamentally, we are all strategic thinkers.