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Jane Austen, Game Theorist$
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Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780691162447

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691162447.001.0001

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Austen’s Innovations

Austen’s Innovations

(p.141) Chapter Nine Austen’s Innovations
Jane Austen, Game Theorist

Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines Jane Austen's four innovations in game theory as seen in her six novels. First, Austen explores how two people form an intimate relationship by strategically acting in concert to manipulate a third. Strategic thinking does not assume atomistic individuals; indeed, Austen argues that strategic thinking in concert forms the basis of the closest human relationships. Her dubious as well as heroic couples are cemented through strategic partnership that leads to manipulation not only of horses but also of people. Second, Austen considers how the relationship between a person's multiple selves can be more complex than a simple chain of command. She asserts that self-management strategies are a matter of choice rather than temperament. Third, she looks at how a person's preferences change and finally, she insists that true constancy is not the same as stubbornness and views it as a strategic process.

Keywords:   game theory, Jane Austen, novels, strategic thinking, multiple selves, self-management, preferences, constancy, manipulation, strategic partnership

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