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A handwritten lecture
A handwritten lecture
A handwritten lecture
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A handwritten lecture
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A handwritten lecture

JOHN FORBES NASH, JR., C.1990S

Details
A handwritten lecture
John Forbes Nash, Jr., c.1990s
NASH, JR. John Forbes (1928-2015). Autograph manuscript, no place [c.1996].

11 pages in notepad, 215 x 279mm, black and blue ink on lined paper. Provenance: John Forbes Nash, Jr.

John Nash's handwritten lecture considering the evolution of cooperative behavior, the work of fellow Nobel laureates Harsanyi and Selten, and more. Nash's deceptive header at the top of the first page—"Outline for 20 min talk"—belies the level of detail found in the pages that follow. He notes that the talk was inspired by his recent visit to the West Virginia National Youth Science Camp in his home state, where he had spoken about biological game theory and been struck with an idea for his theory of cooperative games. "As I researched the specific area of studies relating to the Prisoner's Dilemma I found that the most interesting recent work seemed to be that of the theoretical biologists. In this area the abbreviation 'PD' had become standard and I found the theoretical biologists were using generalized 'PD' models in a repeated game context, for studies on the theme of 'the evolution of cooperation.' [Then] I began to think about the problem of modelling, in terms of 'moves' or 'actions,' the steps towards cooperation that would be taken by players in a game for which a cooperative solution concept was desired. This led to considering the possibility of introducing 'attorneys' to represent the various alternative coalitions that might be formed in the process of moving towards an efficient cooperative solution…" The talk runs 11 pages with sections including "Ideals of a Co-Op Games Theory (over two pages); "Generalizations of Coalitions" (one page), "Secret Treaties" (half page), "Examples of Treaties" (one page), "Approaches via Artificial Intelligence and Theo[retical] Biol[ogy]" (two pages), "The Analogy of Debate" (one page), and "The Approach of Harsanyi and Selten (almost two pages).

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