Commentary by Foer: Book Review and Further Thoughts on Competition, Cooperation, and Super Cooperators

Jul 28 2015

AAI Senior Fellow Bert Foer reviews Martin Nowak's SuperCooperators. Biologist and mathematician Nowak published the book in 2011, partly a memoir and partly a history of the development through computer simulations of explanations for how cooperation evolves out of competition. The designation of "SuperCooperators" Nowak places on the human species, reflecting his awareness of the importance of cooperation in nature generally and particularly in human survival. This extended book review introduces Nowak in the context of criticisms that Darwin underestimated the importance of cooperation, while stressing competition. It summarizes five evolutionary mechanisms that Nowak has found to be explanatory, notes the implications generally, and then uses the described advances in game theory as a base for exploring possible implications for antitrust, which Foer conceives as an enterprise for authoritatively establishing boundaries between approved and disapproved forms of cooperation, rather than for maximizing competition.

Read Foer's review here.

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