I was just trying to get at the difference between facts and values. You're running them together by conflating truth and optimality, and by putting "truth" and "false" in scare quotes, you're implicitly recognizing as much.

The reason you're doing so, I suspect, has to do with your ideal of hyperrationality. Your talk of "decision space" and of "geometric proofs" reminds me of the rationalism of the so-called Pythagorean Illuminati, which I wrote about at length (linked below).

The question is whether you're a Platonist or a pragmatist about math and reason. The Pythagoreans were mystics and realists. They thought the equations were true, regardless of whether we had the information to apply them under imperfect circumstances, because the math refers to an abstract realm of perfect objects.

By contrast, your talk of strategies and optimality suggests you're pragmatic about reason. In that case, you might be open to the view of math I prefer, which is the one Lee Smolin presents in some of his physics books. According to that view, mathematical statements are eternally true in a deflationary sense, since they're evoked like the rules of a game. The rules of chess are set only in that they're stipulated as a social matter. Within the confines of those rules, games play out in objectively superior or inferior ways.

Now, that pragmatic, stipulatory aspect of math raises the question of whether some game theoretic models are supported by ulterior motives--since we're no longer interested in alleged correspondence to abstract reality or to truth in the factual sense. If we're dealing only with utility and social convention, we're in the domain of sociology and psychology, and it's in that domain that I question the motives of the economists who have applied game theory. I question the social conventions that sustain game theory's reductive model of human nature.

By running together truth and optimality, you're effectively concealing the implications of pragmatism, since you're presuming mathematical models are just as factual as empirical statements, whereas instead there's a massive social component of pragmatism which leaves game theory open to sociological critique (leaving no Platonic/realistic questions left over).

If instead you're a Platonist about these matters, I'd have other criticisms similar to those found in the article below.


Knowledge condemns. Art redeems. I learned that as an artistic writer who did a doctorate in philosophy. We should try to see the dark comedy in all things.

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