Laws of the game : how the principles of nature govern chance


Laws of the game : how the principles of nature govern chance

Manfred Eigen and Ruthild Winkler ; translated by Robert and Rita Kimber

(Princeton science library)

Princeton University Press, 1993

  • : pbk





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Translation of: Das Spiel

Originally published: 1st American ed. New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1981

Includes bibliographical references (p. 331-337) and index



Using game theory and examples of actual games people play, Nobel laureate Manfred Eigen and Ruthild Winkler show how the elements of chance and rules underlie all that happens in the universe, from genetic behavior through economic growth to the composition of music. To illustrate their argument, the authors turn to classic games--backgammon, bridge, and chess--and relate them to physical, biological, and social applications of probability theory and number theory. Further, they have invented, and present here, more than a dozen playable games derived from scientific models for equilibrium, selection, growth, and even the composition of RNA.


Translators' NoteAcknowledgmentsForewordForeword to the English Edition1The Taming of Chance11The Origin of Play32Games People Play63Microcosm - Macrocosm194Statistical Bead Games305Darwin and Molecules492Games in Time and Space676Structure, Pattern, Shape697Symmetry1038Metamorphoses of Order1313The Limits of the Game - The Limits of Humanity1739The Parable of the Physicists17510Of Self-Reproducing Automata and Thinking Machines17811"From One Make Ten..."19912Limited Space and Resources21613From Ecosystem to Industrial Society2364In the Realm of Ideas24914Popper's Three Worlds25115From Symbol to Language25916Memory and Complex Reality28317The Art of Asking the Right Question29818Playing with Beauty306List of References331Index339

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