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University of Notre DameProgram in the History and Philosophy of ScienceDepartment of PhilosophyOyun: Prisoner’s Dilemma T...
Important Acknowledgments• Development: Charles Pence• Initial idea, first classroom use: Adam Elga, Princeton• Classroom ...
Two Preliminaries• Double-check that Oyun will start on your lab computer.If it’s missing, I’ve got everything you need on...
Two Preliminaries• Double-check that Oyun will start on your lab computer.If it’s missing, I’ve got everything you need on...
Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, socia...
Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, socia...
Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, socia...
Cooperation and Free-Loading
Cooperation and Free-LoadingGuppy, Poecilia reticulata
Cases Amenable to Cheating• Food gathering behavior• Height of tree canopies• Elephant seal male body size• Replication of...
The Prisoner’s Dilemma
The Prisoner’s DilemmaB: Cooperate B: DefectA: Cooperate 3, 3(mutual cooperation)0, 5(“sucker’s payoff”)A: Defect 5, 0(def...
Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament
Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament• Winning characteristics:• Be nice• Be retaliatory• Be forgiving
Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament• Winning characteristics:• Be nice• Be retaliatory• Be forgiving• The optimal...
Finite State Machines#0: Cooperate #1: Defectif cooperateif defectif defectif cooperate
Finite State MachinesJohn Doe Student NameTit-For-Tat Name of Strategy2 Number of StatesC, 0, 1 Action for 0, Transition i...
..Questions?charles@charlespence.net
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Oyun: Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Philosophy of Science

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Evolutionary applications of game theory present one of the most pedagogically accessible varieties of genuine, contemporary theoretical biology, and have many exciting implications for the philosophy of science. I present here a demonstration of Oyun (OY-oon, http://charlespence.net/oyun), a program designed to run iterated prisoner’s dilemma tournaments – competitions between prisoner’s dilemma strategies developed by the students themselves. Using this software, students are able to readily design and tweak their own strategies, and to see how they fare both in round-robin tournaments and in “evolutionary” tournaments, where the scores in a given “generation” directly determine contribution to the population in the next generation. Oyun is freely available, runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux computers, and the process of creating new prisoner’s dilemma strategies is both easy to teach and easy for students to grasp.

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Oyun: Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Philosophy of Science

  1. 1. University of Notre DameProgram in the History and Philosophy of ScienceDepartment of PhilosophyOyun: Prisoner’s Dilemma Tournamentsin the Philosophy of Science19th International Workshop-Conference on Teaching PhilosophyCharles H. Pencecharles@charlespence.net
  2. 2. Important Acknowledgments• Development: Charles Pence• Initial idea, first classroom use: Adam Elga, Princeton• Classroom development: Lara Buchak, UC BerkeleyThanks especially to Lara, who couldn’t make it here today!Examples here come from her courses.
  3. 3. Two Preliminaries• Double-check that Oyun will start on your lab computer.If it’s missing, I’ve got everything you need on a USB key!
  4. 4. Two Preliminaries• Double-check that Oyun will start on your lab computer.If it’s missing, I’ve got everything you need on a USB key!• Ask me for a preprint: Pence, Charles H. and Buchak, Lara.Forthcoming. “Oyun: A New, Free Program for IteratedPrisoner’s Dilemma Tournaments in the Classroom.”Evolution: Education and Outreach.
  5. 5. Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, social sciences, medicine, etc.)• Most teaching: general philosophy of science (theorychange, confirmation, explanation, etc.)
  6. 6. Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, social sciences, medicine, etc.)• Most teaching: general philosophy of science (theorychange, confirmation, explanation, etc.)• Dilemma: Either present a misleading picture of the field,or leave students behind
  7. 7. Teaching Philosophy of Science• Most philosophy of science work: philosophy of particularsciences (physics, biology, social sciences, medicine, etc.)• Most teaching: general philosophy of science (theorychange, confirmation, explanation, etc.)• Dilemma: Either present a misleading picture of the field,or leave students behindGoal: Present a small slice of cutting-edge research that wecan introduce with 1–2 class periods of background
  8. 8. Cooperation and Free-Loading
  9. 9. Cooperation and Free-LoadingGuppy, Poecilia reticulata
  10. 10. Cases Amenable to Cheating• Food gathering behavior• Height of tree canopies• Elephant seal male body size• Replication of virus populations• Grooming behavior in primates• Shooting at enemies during WWI trench warfare• Evolution of moralityEasley and Kleinberg 2010; Axelrod and Hamilton 1981; Axelrod 1984; Allchin 2009a,b
  11. 11. The Prisoner’s Dilemma
  12. 12. The Prisoner’s DilemmaB: Cooperate B: DefectA: Cooperate 3, 3(mutual cooperation)0, 5(“sucker’s payoff”)A: Defect 5, 0(defector’s payoff)1, 1(mutual defection)Payoff matrix (A’s payoff, B’s payoff)
  13. 13. Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament
  14. 14. Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament• Winning characteristics:• Be nice• Be retaliatory• Be forgiving
  15. 15. Iterated PD Strategies• Axelrod’s tournament• Winning characteristics:• Be nice• Be retaliatory• Be forgiving• The optimal strategy: Tit-for-Tat
  16. 16. Finite State Machines#0: Cooperate #1: Defectif cooperateif defectif defectif cooperate
  17. 17. Finite State MachinesJohn Doe Student NameTit-For-Tat Name of Strategy2 Number of StatesC, 0, 1 Action for 0, Transition if cooperate,Transition if defectD, 0, 1 Action for 1, Transition if cooperate,Transition if defect
  18. 18. ..Questions?charles@charlespence.net

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