Jürgen Jost, Alihan Kabalak, Elena Smirnova

Paper #: 14-06-019

The readiness for spontaneous cooperation together with the assumptions that others share this cooperativity has been identified as a fundamental feature that distinguishes humans from other animals, including the great apes. At the same time, cooperativity presents an evolutionary puzzle because non-cooperators do better in a group of coop- erators. We develop here an analysis of the process leading to cooperation in terms of rationality concepts, game theory and epistemic logic. We are, however, not attempt- ing to reconstruct the actual evolutionary process. We rather want to provide the logical structure underlying cooperation and understand why cooperation is possible and perhaps even necessary.