more from William Poundstone

Single Idea 22719

[catalogued under 23. Ethics / B. Contract Ethics / 6. Game Theory]

Full Idea

The minimax theorem says that there is always a rational solution to a precisely defined conflict between two people whose interests are completely opposite.

Gist of Idea

The minimax theorem says a perfect game of opposed people always has a rational solution


William Poundstone (Prisoner's Dilemma [1992], 03 'Minimax')

Book Reference

Poundstone,William: 'Prisoner's Dilemma' [OUP 1992], p.62

A Reaction

This is Von Neumann's founding theorem of game theory. It concerns maximising minimums, and minimising maximums. Crucially, I would say that it virtually never occurs that two people have completely opposite interests. There is a common good.