It is rewarding and exemplifies a good way of doing formal philosophy. It sheds light on what evolutionary approaches, especially simulations, can and cannot do for philosophy. But mostly, it highlights the fact that our understanding of social phenomena cannot be complete if we neglect a dynamical point of view ... We may not need only books like this in philosophy; but we need some, and we certainly need more of them. And if the recent literature is any indication, we will have them — in no small part due to Skyrms' remarkable, pioneering work ( Cédric Paternotte, Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews)
Social Dynamics offers a careful, informed exploration of the relevant ones, as well as discussions of their explanatory import. No one interested in the evolution of sociality should ignore it, if only to know what it takes to carry out a thorough evolutionary investigation. ( Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews Online)
Brian Skyrms presents eighteen essays which apply adaptive dynamics (of cultural evolution and individual learning) to social theory. Altruism, spite, fairness, trust, division of labor, and signaling are treated from this perspective. Correlation is seen to be of fundamental importance. Interactions with neighbors in space, on static networks, and on co-evolving dynamics networks are investigated. Spontaneous emergence of social structure and of signaling systems are examined in the context of learning dynamics.
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