John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern
Princeton, NJ Princeton University Press, 1980. Paperback First Ed thus, so stated. Very Good+ in Wraps: shows indications of very careful use: light wear to extremities, with a small scuffed area at the upper front corner tip; mild rubbing to wrapper covers; the price has been neatly blocked out at the upper rear panel; some shelf soiling along the bottom edge; fomer owner's rubber stamped name in tiny letters at the upper corner of the front endpaper; binding square and secure; text clean. Structurally and sound and tightly bound, showing minor wear: remains close to 'As New'. NOT a Remainder, Book-Club, or Ex-Library. 8vo. 641pp. First Ed Thus, so stated, following the Third Hardcover Edition of 1953. University Press Paperback. John von Neumann (December 28, 1903 February 8, 1957) was a Hungarian pure and applied mathematician and polymath. He made major contributions to a number of fields, including mathematics (foundations of mathematics, functional analysis, ergodic theory, geometry, topology, and numerical analysis), physics (quantum mechanics, hydrodynamics, and fluid dynamics), economics (game theory), computer science (Von Neumann architecture, linear programming, self-replicating machines, stochastic computing), and statistics. He was a pioneer of the application of operator theory to quantum mechanics, in the development of functional analysis, a principal member of the Manhattan Project and the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton (as one of the few originally appointed), and a key figure in the development of game theory and the concepts of cellular automata, the universal constructor, and the digital computer. Von Neumann's mathematical analysis of the structure of self-replication preceded the discovery of the structure of DNA. In a short list of facts about his life he submitted to the National Academy of Sciences, he stated "The part of my work I consider most essential is that on quantum mechanics, which developed in Göttingen in 1926, and subsequently in Berlin in 19271929. Also, my work on various forms of operator theory, Berlin 1930 and Princeton 19351939; on the ergodic theorem, Princeton, 19311932." Along with Edward Teller and Stanislaw Ulam, von Neumann worked out key steps in the nuclear physics involved in thermonuclear reactions and the hydrogen bomb. Oskar Morgenstern (January 24, 1902 July 26, 1977) was a German-born economist. He was a prominent member of the Austrian School of Economics before the Second World War and later, in collaboration with mathematician John von Neumann, he founded the mathematical field of game theory and its application to economics. In 1947, John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern exhibited four relatively modest axioms of "rationality" such that any agent satisfying the axioms has a utility function. That is, they proved that an agent is (VNM-)rational if and only if there exists a real-valued function u defined by possible outcomes such that every preference of the agent is characterized by maximizing the expected value of u, which can then be defined as the agent's VNM-utility (it is unique up to adding a constant and multiplying by a positive scalar). No claim is made that the agent has a "conscious desire" to maximize u, only that u exists. The expected utility hypothesis is that rationality can be modeled as maximizing an expected value, which given the theorem, can be summarized as "rationality is VNM-rationality". VNM-utility is a decision utility in that it is used to describe decision preferences. It is related but not equivalent to so-called E-utilities (experience utilities), notions of utility intended to measure happiness such as that of Bentham's Greatest Happiness Principle.