Paradoxical Effects of Social Behavior

Essays in Honor of Anatol Rapoport

  • Andreas Diekmann
  • Peter Mitter

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XVI
  2. John C. Harsanyi
    Pages 1-12
  3. Ole Hagen
    Pages 13-25
  4. Russell Hardin
    Pages 27-36
  5. Eckehart Köhler
    Pages 37-46
  6. Werner Raub, Thomas Voss
    Pages 85-103
  7. Rudolf A. Schüßler
    Pages 105-121
  8. Lucian Kern, Hans-Georg Räder
    Pages 169-185
  9. Manfred J. Holler
    Pages 223-233
  10. Steven J. Brams, Dan S. Felsenthal, Zeev Maoz
    Pages 243-256
  11. Jeroen Weesie, Reinhard Wippler
    Pages 257-279
  12. Siegwart Lindenberg
    Pages 297-310
  13. Gerhard Arminger
    Pages 323-336
  14. Back Matter
    Pages 337-342

About this book


In the history of science "paradoxes" are not only amusing puzzles and chal­ lenges to the human mind but also driving forces of scientific development. The notion of "paradox" is intimately related to the notion of "contradiction". Logi­ cal paradoxes allow for the derivation of contradictory propositions (e.g. "Rus­ sell's set of all sets not being members of themselves" or the ancient problem with propositions like "I am lying" 1), normative paradoxes deal with contradic­ tions among equally well accepted normative postulates (Arrow's "impossibility theorem", Sen's "Impossibility of a Paretian Liberal") and "factual" paradoxes refer to conflicts between conventional opinion based on an accepted empirical theory and contradictory empirical evidence (e.g. the "St. Petersburg paradox" or the "Allais paradox" in decision theory2). Paradoxes, either logical, normative or factual, also contradict our intui­ tions. The counter-intuitive property which seems to be a common feature of all paradoxes plays an important part in the empirical social sciences, particularly in the old research tradition of scrutinizing the unintended consequences of pur­ posive actions. Expectations based on naive theories ignoring interdependencies between individual actions are very often in conflict with "surprising" empirical evidence on collective results of social behavior. Examples are numerous reach­ ing from panic situations, the individual struggle for status gains resulting in collective deprivation, the less than optimal supply of collective goods etc. to global problems of the armament race and mismanagement of common resources.


Computer Evolution Moral Nation decision theory economics history of science management rational choice simulation

Editors and affiliations

  • Andreas Diekmann
    • 1
  • Peter Mitter
    • 2
  1. 1.Institut für SoziologieLudwig-Maximilians-Universität MünchenMünchen 40Germany
  2. 2.Abteilung für Mathematische Methoden und ComputerverfahrenInstituts für Höhere StudienWienAustria

Bibliographic information