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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published online by De Gruyter November 29, 2022

The Irrationality of Stand Your Ground: Game Theory on Self-Defense

  • Carlos Santana ORCID logo EMAIL logo , Adam C. Smith , Kathryn Petrozzo and Derek Halm


US law continues its historical trend of growing more permissive towards actors who engage in violent action in purported self-defense. We draw on some informal game theory to show why this is strategically irrational and suggest rolling back self-defense doctrines like stand your ground to earlier historical precedents like duty to retreat.

Corresponding author: Carlos Santana, Department of Philosophy, University of Utah, 215 S Central Campus Dr., 4th Floor, Salt Lake City, UT 84112, USA, E-mail:


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Published Online: 2022-11-29

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