THE FIRST PUBLICATION OF THE NASH EQUILIBRIUM
NASH, John. “Equilibrium Points in N-Person Games.” IN: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Volume 36, Number 1, pp. 48-49. Easton, Pennsylvania: Mack Printing, January 15, 1950-December 15, 1950. Large octavo, contemporary black cloth. $1600.
First edition of the complete journal volume containing the first publication of the Nash Equilibrium, which forever changed the fields of game theory and economics.
Published shortly after Nash received his Ph.D. in 1950, this is the first and most influential of only three articles directly derived from Nash’s thesis research. As a graduate student at Princeton, Nash encountered game theory, which had been recently articulated by John von Neumann and Oskar Morgenstern. While their theory dealt with two-person zero-sum games, or “pure rivalries,” Nash explored rivalries with the possibility of mutual gain, where each player acts independently and no outside authority makes sure that players stick to predetermined rules. His idea that any game such as this has one equilibrium point became known as the “Nash equilibrium,” a founding concept in analyzing economic behavior, and the one for which he won the Nobel Prize in 1994. Nash’s devastating struggle with schizophrenia, which propelled him out of elite mathematics for decades, was chronicled in Sylvia Nasar’s award-winning biography, A Beautiful Mind, and by the film, which won the Academy Award for Best Picture in 2002. Ex-libris Library of Congress, with expected notations and a single duplicate stamp.
Text generally fine. A handsome and extremely desirable copy of one of the most significant mathematical papers of the 20th century.