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When to defer to supermajority testimony — and when not

In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 240-249 (2014)

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  1. Group Communication and the Transformation of Judgments: An Impossibility Result.Christian List - 2011 - Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (1):1-27.
    While a large social-choice-theoretic literature discusses the aggregation of individual judgments into collective ones, there is much less formal work on the transformation of judgments in group communication. I develop a model of judgment transformation and prove a baseline impossibility theorem: Any judgment transformation function satisfying some initially plausible conditions is the identity function, under which no opinion change occurs. I identify escape routes from this impossibility and argue that the kind of group communication envisaged by deliberative democats must be (...)
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  • Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence From Deliberative Polls.Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, James S. Fishkin & Iain McLean - 2013 - Journal of Politics 75 (1):80–95.
    Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...)
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  • From Degrees of Belief to Binary Beliefs: Lessons From Judgment-Aggregation Theory.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (5):225-270.
    What is the relationship between degrees of belief and binary beliefs? Can the latter be expressed as a function of the former—a so-called “belief-binarization rule”—without running into difficulties such as the lottery paradox? We show that this problem can be usefully analyzed from the perspective of judgment-aggregation theory. Although some formal similarities between belief binarization and judgment aggregation have been noted before, the connection between the two problems has not yet been studied in full generality. In this paper, we seek (...)
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  • Aggregating Causal Judgments.Richard Bradley, Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2014 - Philosophy of Science 81 (4):491-515.
    Decision-making typically requires judgments about causal relations: we need to know the causal effects of our actions and the causal relevance of various environmental factors. We investigate how several individuals' causal judgments can be aggregated into collective causal judgments. First, we consider the aggregation of causal judgments via the aggregation of probabilistic judgments, and identify the limitations of this approach. We then explore the possibility of aggregating causal judgments independently of probabilistic ones. Formally, we introduce the problem of causal-network aggregation. (...)
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  • Aggregation Theory and the Relevance of Some Issues to Others.Franz Dietrich - 2015 - Journal of Economic Theory 160:463-493.
    I propose a relevance-based independence axiom on how to aggregate individual yes/no judgments on given propositions into collective judgments: the collective judgment on a proposition depends only on people’s judgments on propositions which are relevant to that proposition. This axiom contrasts with the classical independence axiom: the collective judgment on a proposition depends only on people’s judgments on the same proposition. I generalize the premise-based rule and the sequential-priority rule to an arbitrary priority order of the propositions, instead of a (...)
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  • Local Supermajorities.Fabrizio Cariani - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (2):391-406.
    This paper explores two non-standard supermajority rules in the context of judgment aggregation over multiple logically connected issues. These rules set the supermajority threshold in a local, context sensitive way—partly as a function of the input profile of opinions. To motivate the interest of these rules, I prove two results. First, I characterize each rule in terms of a condition I call ‘Block Preservation’. Block preservation says that if a majority of group members accept a judgment set, then so should (...)
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  • Aggregating with Reason.Fabrizio Cariani - 2013 - Synthese 190 (15):3123-3147.
    Judgment aggregation is naturally applied to the modeling of collective attitudes. In the individual case, we represent agents as having not just beliefs, but also as supporting them with reasons. Can the Judgment Aggregation help model a concept of collective reason? I argue that the resources of the standard judgment aggregation framework are insufficiently general. I develop a generalization of the framework that improves along this dimension. In the new framework, new aggregation rules become available, as well as a natural (...)
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