The Strategist as Scientist-Philosopher

Napoleon said “Unhappy the general who comes on the field of battle with a system.” We will explore and extend this notion of a strategist, with the aim of applying it to various areas of human activity. For us, strategists are never completely certain of their assumptions or hypotheses and are always be open to revision of their beliefs. The famous physicist Richard Feynman promoted a mindset of enlightened ignorance, while Albert Einstein wrote about a continuous loop from axioms to statements to experience and back to new axioms. Our strategist, then, is something of a scientist-philosopher, whether operating in business, government, international affairs, or elsewhere. We will illustrate our talk with examples drawn from these various worlds.



Professor, Stern School of Business and Polytechnic School of Engineering, New York University.

Adam Brandenburger is the J.P. Valles Professor at the Stern School of Business and Distinguished Professor at the Polytechnic School of Engineering, at New York University. He was a professor at Harvard Business School from 1987 to 2002. Adam researches and teaches in the areas of decision making and game theory. His recent book The Language of Game Theory (World Scientific, 2014) describes an approach to game theory, developed by him and co-authors, in which players engage in cognitive processes (such as thinking about other player’s thinking) which have traditionally been absent from the field. Adam received his B.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Cambridge.


8:30 PM @ Schapiro's


*Entrance over 21