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  1. Epistemology in Group Agency: Six Objections in Search of the Truth. [REVIEW]Fabrizio Cariani - 2012 - Episteme 9 (3):255-269.
    List and Pettit's Group Agency is an extremely important book, spearheading a new wave of work on the metaphysics, epistemology and ethics of group agents. In this article, I focus on the epistemological thread in their discussion. After introducing the apparatus they use in analyzing the epistemic performance of groups, I criticize some elements and point to some ways in which the very same apparatus could be redirected to address them.Send article to KindleTo send this article to your Kindle, first (...)
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  • Group Agency and Epistemic Dependency.Aaron Dewitt - 2012 - Episteme 9 (3):235-244.
    Modern epistemic questions have largely been focused around the individual and her ability to acquire knowledge autonomously. More recently epistemologists have begun to look more broadly in providing accounts of knowledge by considering its social context, where the individual depends on others for true beliefs. Hardwig explains the effect of this shift starkly, arguing that to reject epistemic dependency is to deny certain true beliefs widely held throughout society and, more specifically, it is to deny that science and scholarship can (...)
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  • An Epistemic Theory of Democracy Robert E. Goodin and Kai Spiekermann, Oxford University Press, 2018, Xvi + 456 Pages. [REVIEW]Liam Kofi Bright - forthcoming - Economics and Philosophy:1-6.
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  • Independence and Interdependence: Lessons From the Hive.Christian List & Adrian Vermeule - 2014 - Rationality and Society 26 (2):170-207.
    There is a substantial class of collective decision problems whose successful solution requires interdependence among decision makers at the agenda-setting stage and independence at the stage of choice. We define this class of problems and describe and apply a search-and-decision mechanism theoretically modeled in the context of honeybees and identified in earlier empirical work in biology. The honeybees’ mechanism has useful implications for mechanism design in human institutions, including courts, legislatures, executive appointments, research and development in firms, and basic research (...)
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  • Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective.Christian List - 2005 - Episteme 2 (1):25-38.
    In this paper, I introduce the emerging theory of judgment aggregation as a framework for studying institutional design in social epistemology. When a group or collective organization is given an epistemic task, its performance may depend on its ‘aggregation procedure’, i.e. its mechanism for aggregating the group members’ individual beliefs or judgments into corresponding collective beliefs or judgments endorsed by the group as a whole. I argue that a group’s aggregation procedure plays an important role in determining whether the group (...)
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  • One Standard to Rule Them All?Marc‐Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Ratio 32 (1):12-21.
    It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...)
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  • How to Condorcet a Goldman.Michele Palmira - 2015 - Episteme 12 (3):413-425.
    In his 2010 paper “Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology”, Alvin I. Goldman invokes the Condorcet Jury Theorem in order to defend the reliability of intuitions. The present note argues that the original conditions of the theorem are all unrealistic when analysed in connection to the case of intuitions. Alternative conditions are discussed.
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  • On the Significance of the Absolute Margin.Christian List - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):521-544.
    Consider the hypothesis H that a defendant is guilty, and the evidence E that a majority of h out of n independent jurors have voted for H and a minority of k:=n-h against H. How likely is the majority verdict to be correct? By a formula of Condorcet, the probability that H is true given E depends only on each juror's competence and on the absolute margin between the majority and the minority h-k, but neither on the number n, nor (...)
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  • The Premises of Condorcet’s Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 5 (1):56-73.
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they should be competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justified depends on the notion of uncertainty or probability employed; no such notion renders both premises simultaneously justified. Especially the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):56-73.
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: (i) whether a premise is justified depends on the notion of probability considered and (ii) none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justified. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • Distributed Cognition: A Perspective From Social Choice Theory.Christian List - 2003 - In M. Albert, D. Schmidtchen & S. Voigt (eds.), Scientific Competition: Theory and Policy, Conferences on New Political Economy. Mohr Siebeck.
    Distributed cognition refers to processes which are (i) cognitive and (ii) distributed across multiple agents or devices rather than performed by a single agent. Distributed cognition has attracted interest in several fields ranging from sociology and law to computer science and the philosophy of science. In this paper, I discuss distributed cognition from a social-choice-theoretic perspective. Drawing on models of judgment aggregation, I address two questions. First, how can we model a group of individuals as a distributed cognitive system? Second, (...)
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  • Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):87--120.
    The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation (...)
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  • Justifying Deliberative Democracy: Are Two Heads Always Wiser Than One|[Quest]|.Zsuzsanna Chappell - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):78.
    Democracy is usually justified either on intrinsic or instrumental, particularly epistemic, grounds. Intrinsic justifications stress the values inherent in the democratic process itself, whereas epistemic ones stress that it results in good outcomes. This article examines whether epistemic justifications for deliberative democracy are superior to intrinsic ones. The Condorcet jury theorem is the most common epistemic justification of democracy. I argue that it is not appropriate for deliberative democracy. Yet deliberative democrats often explicitly state that the process will favour the (...)
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  • Collective Wisdom: Lessons From the Theory of Judgment Aggregation.Christian List - 2012 - In Helene Landemore & Jon Elster (eds.), Collective Wisdom: Principles and Mechanisms. Cambridge University Press.
    Can collectives be wise? The thesis that they can has recently received a lot of attention. It has been argued that, in many judgmental or decision-making tasks, suitably organized groups can outperform their individual members. In this paper, I discuss the lessons we can learn about collective wisdom from the emerging theory of judgment aggregation, as distinct from the literature on Condorcet’s jury theorem.
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  • The Social Value of Non-Deferential Belief.Allan Hazlett - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):131-151.
    We often prefer non-deferential belief to deferential belief. In the last twenty years, epistemology has seen a surge of sympathetic interest in testimony as a source of knowledge. We are urged to abandon ‘epistemic individualism’ and the ideal of the ‘autonomous knower’ in favour of ‘social epistemology’. In this connection, you might think that a preference for non-deferential belief is a manifestation of vicious individualism, egotism, or egoism. I shall call this the selfishness challenge to preferring non-deferential belief. The aim (...)
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  • Jury Theorems.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - manuscript
    We give a review and critique of jury theorems from a social-epistemology perspective, covering Condorcet’s (1785) classic theorem and several later refinements and departures. We assess the plausibility of the conclusions and premises featuring in jury theorems and evaluate the potential of such theorems to serve as formal arguments for the ‘wisdom of crowds’. In particular, we argue (i) that there is a fundamental tension between voters’ independence and voters’ competence, hence between the two premises of most jury theorems; (ii) (...)
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  • Majority Voting on Restricted Domains.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2010 - Journal of Economic Theory 145 (2):512-543.
    In judgment aggregation, unlike preference aggregation, not much is known about domain restrictions that guarantee consistent majority outcomes. We introduce several conditions on individual judgments su¢ - cient for consistent majority judgments. Some are based on global orders of propositions or individuals, others on local orders, still others not on orders at all. Some generalize classic social-choice-theoretic domain conditions, others have no counterpart. Our most general condition generalizes Sen’s triplewise value-restriction, itself the most general classic condition. We also prove a (...)
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  • The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - LSE Choice Group Working Paper Series 4 (2).
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justi…ed depends on the notion of probability considered; none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justi…ed. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • A General Model of a Group Search Procedure, Applied to Epistemic Democracy.Christopher Thompson - 2013 - Synthese 190 (7):1233-1252.
    The standard epistemic justification for inclusiveness in political decision making is the Condorcet Jury Theorem, which states that the probability of a correct decision using majority rule increases in group size (given certain assumptions). Informally, majority rule acts as a mechanism to pool the information contained in the judgements of individual agents. I aim to extend the explanation of how groups of political agents track the truth. Before agents can pool the information, they first need to find truth-conducive information. Increasing (...)
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  • The Discursive Dilemma and Public Reason.Christian List - 2006 - Ethics 116 (2):362-402.
    Political theorists have offered many accounts of collective decision-making under pluralism. I discuss a key dimension on which such accounts differ: the importance assigned not only to the choices made but also to the reasons underlying those choices. On that dimension, different accounts lie in between two extremes. The ‘minimal liberal account’ holds that collective decisions should be made only on practical actions or policies and that underlying reasons should be kept private. The ‘comprehensive deliberative account’ stresses the importance of (...)
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  • An Epistemic Free-Riding Problem?Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2004 - In Philip Catton & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals. Routledge.
    One of the hallmark themes of Karl Popper’s approach to the social sciences was the insistence that when social scientists are members of the society they study, then they are liable to affect that society. In particular, they are liable to affect it in such a way that the claims they make lose their validity. “The interaction between the scientist’s pronouncements and social life almost invariably creates situations in which we have not only to consider the truth of such pronouncements, (...)
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  • Condorcet and Communitarianism: Boghossian’s Fallacious Inference.Armin Schulz - 2009 - Synthese 166 (1):55 - 68.
    This paper defends the communitarian account of meaning against Boghossian’s (Wittgensteinian) arguments. Boghossian argues that whilst such an account might be able to accommodate the infinitary characteristic of meaning, it cannot account for its normativity: he claims that, since the dispositions of a group must mirror those of its members, the former cannot be used to evaluate the latter. However, as this paper aims to make clear, this reasoning is fallacious. Modelling the issue with four (justifiable) assumptions, it shows that (...)
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  • Justifying Deliberative Democracy: Are Two Heads Always Wiser Than One?Zsuzsanna Chappell - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):78-101.
    Democracy is usually justified either on intrinsic or instrumental, particularly epistemic, grounds. Intrinsic justifications stress the values inherent in the democratic process itself, whereas epistemic ones stress that it results in good outcomes. This article examines whether epistemic justifications for deliberative democracy are superior to intrinsic ones. The Condorcet jury theorem is the most common epistemic justification of democracy. I argue that it is not appropriate for deliberative democracy. Yet deliberative democrats often explicitly state that the process will favour the (...)
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  • Hume and the Independent Witnesses.Arif Ahmed - 2015 - Mind 124 (496):1013-1044.
    The Humean argument concerning miracles says that one should always think it more likely that anyone who testifies to a miracle is lying or deluded than that the alleged miracle actually occurred, and so should always reject any single report of it. A longstanding and widely accepted objection is that even if this is right, the concurring and non-collusive testimony of many witnesses should make it rational to believe in whatever miracle they all report. I argue that on the contrary, (...)
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