Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Short Communication

To have and to eat cake: The biscriptive role of game-theoretic explanations of human choice behavior

William D. Casebeer a1 and James E. Parco a2

a1 Department of Philosophy, United States Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO 80840 [email protected]
a2 American Embassy, Tel Aviv, 63903 Israel [email protected]


Game-theoretic explanations of behavior need supplementation to be descriptive; behavior has multiple causes, only some governed by traditional rationality. An evolutionarily informed theory of action countenances overlapping causal domains: neurobiological, psychological, and rational. Colman's discussion is insufficient because he neither evaluates learning models nor qualifies under what conditions his propositions hold. Still, inability to incorporate emotions in axiomatic models highlights the need for a comprehensive theory of functional rationality.