Regular price: $14.95

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
Select or Add a new payment method

Buy Now with 1 Credit

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Buy Now for $14.95

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Add to Library for $0.00

By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

Why do Internet, financial service, and beer commercials dominate Super Bowl advertising? How do political ceremonies establish authority? Why does repetition characterize anthems and ritual speech? Why were circular forms favored for public festivals during the French Revolution? This book answers these questions using a single concept: common knowledge. Game theory shows that in order to coordinate its actions, a group of people must form "common knowledge". Each person wants to participate only if others also participate. Members must have knowledge of each other, knowledge of that knowledge, knowledge of the knowledge of that knowledge, and so on. Michael Chwe applies this insight with striking erudition to analyze a range of rituals across history and cultures. He shows that public ceremonies are powerful not simply because they transmit meaning from a central source to each audience member but because they let audience members know what other members know. For instance people watching the Super Bowl know that many others are seeing precisely what they see and that those people know in turn that many others are also watching. This creates common knowledge, and advertisers selling products that depend on consensus are willing to pay large sums to gain access to it. Remarkably, a great variety of rituals and ceremonies, such as formal inaugurations, work in much the same way. By using a rational-choice argument to explain diverse cultural practices, Chwe argues for a close reciprocal relationship between the perspectives of rationality and culture. He illustrates how game theory can be applied to an unexpectedly broad spectrum of problems while showing in an admirably clear way what game theory might hold for scholars in the social sciences and humanities who are not yet acquainted with it. In a new afterword, Chwe delves into new applications of common knowledge both in the real world and in experiments and considers how generating common knowledge has become easier in the digital age.
©2001 Princeton University Press (P)2015 Audible, Inc.
Show More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Kellie on 10-11-17

VISUALS?

The book references illustrated visuals (graphs, charts etc) These aren't provided in the audiobook. This makes the narrative difficult to follow.

Read More Hide me

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Peter on 02-06-18

Difficult given that you need to see diagrams

struggled but excellent concepts which has added value to my working day. please work on a solution to work diagrams into audible better

Read More Hide me
See all Reviews