The Mechanics of Cooperation – a Game Theory Perspective

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From a purely rational perspective, cooperation seems to be a real puzzle – it runs counter to the well-calculated claim that people should behave egoistically. Why don’t they? To answer this question contemporary social sciences resort to game theory. In this paper I explain mechanics of the conflict between individual interest and cooperation. I present the most basic of solutions to this conflict that can be found in game theory literature; I also present their potential weaknesses. Finally, I concentrate on practical implications of the presented data in solving social problems and strengthening social engagement. Keywords: game theory, cooperation, generalized trust

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