On David Gauthier’s Theories of Coordination and Cooperation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)


In 1975, Gauthier discussed Schelling’s pure coordination games and Hodgson’s Hi-Lo game. While developing an original analysis of how rational players coordinate on ‘focal points,’ Gauthier argued, contrary to Schelling and Hodgson, that successful coordination in these games does not depend on deviations from conventional principles of individually rational choice. I argue that Gauthier’s analysis of constrained maximization in Morals by Agreement, which famously deviates from conventional game theory, has significant similarities with Schelling’s and Hodgson’s analyses of coordination. Constrained maximization can be thought of as a pragmatic and contractarian variant of the team-reasoning approach pioneered by Hodgson.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)713-737
Number of pages21
JournalDialogue: Canadian Philosophical Review
Issue number4
Early online date27 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Gauthier
  • coordination
  • cooperation
  • focal points
  • salience

Cite this