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This chapter proposes a theory of man, wherein man constructs models of the world based on past experiences in social situations. The present theory considers experiences, or chunks of impressions, as primitives instead of an “objective” game, which is assumed to be given in the standard economic theory. Agents construct models of the world based on direct and indirect experiences.
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This chapter is based on Matsui (2008).
Peirce (1898/1992) called this activity retroduction (or abduction), claiming that we had to distinguish this activity from the “standard” induction by which we enlarge our observation from samples to the entire population. I am grateful to Takashi Shimizu for pointing this out to me. See Matsui and Shimizu (2007) for more discussion.
There are numerous reports on the difficulty of animals’ returning to the wild. Many programs are designed to teach animals various skills to survive in the wild. See, e.g., Hendron (2000).
Pepperberg (1994) reported that an African gray parrot ( Psittacus erithacus), Alex, trained to label vocally collections of 1–6 simultaneously presented homogeneous objects, correctly identified, without further training, quantities of targeted subsets in heterogeneous collections. For each test trial Alex was shown different collections of 4 groups of items that varied in 2 colors and 2 object categories (e.g., blue and red keys and trucks) and was asked to label the number of items uniquely defined by the conjunction of 1 color and 1 object category (e.g., “How many blue keys?”). The collections were designed to provide maximal confounds (or distractions). Unfortunately, further tests cannot be conducted since Alex died on September 6, 2007, at the age of 31.
However, it is difficult to reject the hypothesis that animals, too, perform such an intelligent activity of constructing a model of the world, in a broad sense.
Another application, which will be discussed in Chaps. 13 and 14, concerns discrimination and prejudices as discussed in Kaneko and Matsui (1999). Instead of the standard argument on this subject (Becker 1957), i.e., that prejudices lead to discrimination, the present framework allows an argument that the fact of segregation gives rise to prejudices against the segregated.
A binary relation \(\ge _M\) is a preorder if it satisfies reflexivity and transitivity, i.e., \([\forall x \in M(x \ge _M x)]\) and \([\forall x, y, z \in M(x\ge _M y \wedge y \ge _M z \Rightarrow x\ge _M z)]\), respectively.
A remark at press conference on Nov. 10, 2006; translated by the author.
Quoted in the article “Wally Yonamine” by Rob Smaal in the English edition of Asahi.com, January 2, 2007.
- A Model of Man as a Creator of the World
- Springer Singapore
- Chapter 12
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