Essay on The History Of Game Theory

837 Words Oct 4th, 2016 4 Pages
The History of Game Theory By definition, game theory is “the branch of mathematics concerned with the analysis of strategies for dealing with competitive situations where the outcome of a participant 's choice of action depends critically on the actions of other participants. Game theory has been applied to contexts in war, business, and biology.” In 1944 John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern invented the mathematical theory of games. Initially, the theory itself was only limited to special and certain conditions but over the past six decades changes are still being made. “Despite the fact that game theory has been rendered mathematically and logically systematic only since 1944, game-theoretic insights can be found among commentators going back to ancient times.” (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy) Some examples given are from Plato’s text, the Laches and the Symposium and also in Shakespeare’s Henry V. In Shakespeare’s Henry V, during the Battle of Agincourt, Henry slaughtered his French prisoners in front of everyone. He was afraid prisoners may either free themselves or threaten his position, which both reasons were non-strategic. However, game theorists would say it was supplementary strategic because Henry’s troops saw the prisoners being killed and observed the enemy has seen this as well. Therefore, his troops know the fate that will await them at the enemy’s hand if they do not win. It seems as though the examples given are only under cut throat…

Related Documents