A famed political scientist's classic argument for a more cooperative world
We assume that, in a world ruled by natural selection, selfishness pays. So why cooperate? In The Evolution of Cooperation, political scientist Robert Axelrod seeks to answer this question. In 1980, he organized the famed Computer Prisoners Dilemma Tournament, which sought to find the optimal strategy for survival in a particular game. Over and over, the simplest strategy, a cooperative program called Tit for Tat, shut out the competition. In other words, cooperation, not unfettered competition, turns out to be our best chance for survival.
A vital book for leaders and decision makers, The Evolution of Cooperation reveals how cooperative principles help us think better about everything from military strategy, to political elections, to family dynamics.
About the Author
Robert Axelrod is Professor of Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Michigan. A MacArthur Fellow, he is a leading expert on game theory, artificial intelligence, evolutionary biology, mathematical modeling, and complexity theory. He lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
"Our ideas of cooperation will never be the same."—The Wall Street Journal
"When I read The Evolution of Cooperation in draft form, I scribbled all over my copy: 'Incredible!' 'Amazing!' 'Weird!' 'Fascinating!' 'Elegant!' 'Great!' I guess that tells you what I genuinely think of this book." —Douglas Hofstadter, author of Gödel, Escher, Bach
"A fascinating introduction to the theory of cooperation, and written in a clear, informal style that makes it a joy to read." —Times Literary Supplement