Cyril Hédoin (Université Reims – Champagne-Ardennes) has recently published online a working paper entitled “Epistemic Basis for Collective Intentions In Games“.
Abstract: Economists and philosophers have generally tackled the so-called “collective action problem” in two different ways. While the former have made a systematic use of formal tools such as game theory, philosophers interested in social ontology have rather approached this subject by emphasizing the role of collective intentionality in the emergence of cooperation. This article seeks to build a bridge between these two approaches by offering a formalization of collective intentions in a game-theoretic framework. Starting with John Searle’s non reductionist account of collective intentions, I define a collective intention as a public event where players intend to implement an outcome or a set of outcomes in a game. On this basis, I define the concept of collective intention equilibrium and discuss its formal properties. In particular, I show that under some epistemic conditions, a collective intention equilibrium implement a correlated equilibrium. The fact that agents share a common cultural ground is highly favorable for the development of collaboration in a game, i.e. cooperation on the basis of a collective intention.
Keywords: Collective intentions – Epistemic game theory – Correlated equilibrium – Collective intention equilibrium – Collaboration