Omniscience and omnipotence: How they may help - or hurt - in a game1

Steven Brams

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 x 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player’s omnipotence - versus the other’s - helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)217-231
    Number of pages15
    JournalInquiry (United Kingdom)
    Volume25
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - 1982

    Fingerprint

    Pathology
    Omniscience
    Players
    Omnipotence

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Health Policy

    Cite this

    Omniscience and omnipotence : How they may help - or hurt - in a game1. / Brams, Steven.

    In: Inquiry (United Kingdom), Vol. 25, No. 2, 1982, p. 217-231.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    @article{7ad9a40cab0948bf8c6849ee2dd4c550,
    title = "Omniscience and omnipotence: How they may help - or hurt - in a game1",
    abstract = "The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 x 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player’s omnipotence - versus the other’s - helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games.",
    author = "Steven Brams",
    year = "1982",
    doi = "10.1080/00201748208601963",
    language = "English (US)",
    volume = "25",
    pages = "217--231",
    journal = "Inquiry",
    issn = "0020-174X",
    publisher = "Taylor and Francis Ltd.",
    number = "2",

    }

    TY - JOUR

    T1 - Omniscience and omnipotence

    T2 - How they may help - or hurt - in a game1

    AU - Brams, Steven

    PY - 1982

    Y1 - 1982

    N2 - The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 x 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player’s omnipotence - versus the other’s - helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games.

    AB - The concepts of omniscience and omnipotence are defined in 2 x 2 ordinal games, and implications for the optimal play of these games, when one player is omniscient or omnipotent and the other player is aware of his omniscience or omnipotence, are derived. Intuitively, omniscience allows a player to predict the strategy choice of an opponent in advance of play, and omnipotence allows a player, after initial strategy choices are made, to continue to move after the other player is forced to stop. Omniscience and its awareness by an opponent may hurt both players, but this problem can always be rectified if the other player is omniscient. This pathology can also be rectified if at least one of the two players is omnipotent, which can override the effects of omniscience. In some games, one player’s omnipotence - versus the other’s - helps him, whereas in other games the outcome induced does not depend on which player is omnipotent. Deducing whether a player is superior (omniscient or omnipotent) from the nature of his game playing alone raises several problems, however, suggesting the difficulty of devising tests for detecting superior ability in games.

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84910536630&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84910536630&partnerID=8YFLogxK

    U2 - 10.1080/00201748208601963

    DO - 10.1080/00201748208601963

    M3 - Article

    AN - SCOPUS:84910536630

    VL - 25

    SP - 217

    EP - 231

    JO - Inquiry

    JF - Inquiry

    SN - 0020-174X

    IS - 2

    ER -