Rational Choice and Reasonable Interactions

19 Pages Posted: 28 May 2008 Last revised: 11 Jun 2008

See all articles by Bruce Chapman

Bruce Chapman

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto


Game theory probably offers the most well-known account of how rational agents interact in strategic situations. The rational thought processes that are involved, while enormously sophisticated, remain very private for each agent. Less well known is the alternative account that is offered by law and legal theory, an account where agents interact, and understand their interaction, under the idea of public (or objective) reasonableness. This Article argues, using some simple examples, that the legal account does better than the game theoretic account in explaining the actual levels of cooperation and coordination we observe across rational individuals in strategic situations.

Suggested Citation

Chapman, Bruce, Rational Choice and Reasonable Interactions. Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 81, No. 1, 2006. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1138415

Bruce Chapman (Contact Author)

Faculty of Law, University of Toronto ( email )

78 and 84 Queen's Park
Toronto, Ontario M5S 2C5
416-978-6911 (Phone)
416 978 2648 (Fax)

Register to save articles to
your library


Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics