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Language and Equilibrium$
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Prashant Parikh

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262013451

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262013451.001.0001

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Situated Choice

Situated Choice

(p.71) 3 Situated Choice
Language and Equilibrium

Prashant Parikh

The MIT Press

This chapter explains the concept of situated choice. All actions occur in an environment and have to be understood against a background u (a complex situation in which many things remain implicit and partially specifiable). Choice is always situated. The first step is to isolate certain key aspects of u and then build a mathematical model of the choices made explicit in u. The resulting game or decision problem then becomes a further part of the background within which the agents A and B produce and interpret utterances. A and B can say a variety of things; some to solve the identified game, others possibly to change the game or influence the possibilities, and yet others that relate to aspects of the setting not directly modeled by the game. It is necessary to keep this layered background in mind when developing an account of communication. Only then can we hope to capture the full range of meaning that language makes possible.

Keywords:   choices, actions, utterances, communication, language

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