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What is Game Theory? How did Jane Austen use it?

Posted on by Kieran McGovern

Game theory is an approach to predicting the likely outcome of an action when interests conflict (e.g. in sport, business or military strategy. Associated with the prisoner's dilemna (see image above). It origins are complex but the publication of John von Neuemann's minimax theory in 1928 is a key development.

This discussion from the Freakonomics podcast makes the surprising claim that the Regency Eighteenth Century novelist was a pioneering game theorist.