The theories of rational choice and games have long been considered important tools for philosophers who are interested in formal approaches to traditional philosophical issues. Philosophers have contributed both to their formal development and to their application to traditional questions in philosophy ranging from the nature of rationality itself, to social welfare, to the nature of cooperation and communication, and more. While a course on these topics has occasionally been offered in the Honors College by the proposer, there is no course in the bulletin that covers this material, which is becoming increasingly prominent in philosophy, and which needs to have some coverage in our curriculum.
The proposed course will be offered at the 300 level with a prerequisite of one ARP course (with a grade of C or higher). There are courses in game theory at U of SC at the 500 level (MATH 525, MATH 576, ECON 555). Those courses address techniques for the solution of games, mathematical foundations of game theory, and economic applications of game theory. They do not address, in a systematic way, the philosophical analyses and uses of game theory and decision theory to address traditional problems in philosophy, which is the distinctive aim of this course.