A questionable assertion by David Lewis

Consider the following:

"The state of nature need not be a state in which we achieve coordination equilibria conforming to a regularity. Certainly Hobbes's state of nature is not: battles in the war of all against all do not result in equilibria (since the loser will wish he had adopted a different strategy), let alone coordination equilibria." -- Conventions, p. 95

The first part of this conclusion seems curious to me: In a Hobbesian state of nature, if some big guy shows up, kicks my butt, and takes my stuff, what "different strategy" would I wish I had adopted? "Don't get your butt kicked"?


  1. 1) All I have is yours, but my neighbor has much finer things, so let us join forces and make them our own.
    2) Let me serve you the rest of my days.

    1. I think Lewis is considering something like this, but in Hobbes's state of nature, could anyone trust such pledges? Better kill the guy while you can.

  2. Acquiring and holding less to no stuff


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