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Models of Mechanisms: The Case of the Replicator Dynamics

  • Till Grüne-Yanoff
Chapter
Part of the History, Philosophy and Theory of the Life Sciences book series (HPTL, volume 3)

Abstract

The general replicator dynamics (RD) is a formal equation that is used in biology to represent biological mechanisms and in the social sciences to represent social mechanisms. For either of these purposes, I show that substantial idealisations have to be made – idealisations that differ for the respective disciplines. These create a considerable idealisation gap between the biologically interpreted RD and the learning interpretations of the RD. I therefore argue that these interpretations represent different mechanisms, even though they are interpretations of the same formal RD equation. Furthermore, I argue that this idealisation gap between the biological and economic models is too wide for the respective mechanisms to share a common abstract causal structure that could be represented by the general RD model.

Keywords

Mixed Strategy Pure Strategy Causal Structure Biological Interpretation Replicator Dynamic 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Avdelningen för FilosofiRoyal Institute of Technology (KTH)StockholmSweden

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