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Groupthink
Philosophical Studies 172 (5):12871309 (2015)
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView. 

Trial by jury is a fundamental feature of democratic governance. But what form should jury decisionmaking take? I argue against the status quo system in which juries are encouraged and even required to engage in group deliberation as a means to reaching a decision. Jury deliberation is problematic for both theoretical and empirical reasons. On the theoretical front, deliberation destroys the independence of jurors’ judgments that is needed for certain attractive theoretical results. On the empirical front, we have evidence from (...) 





We introduce a family of rules for adjusting one's credences in response to learning the credences of others. These rules have a number of desirable features. 1. They yield the posterior credences that would result from updating by standard Bayesian conditionalization on one's peers' reported credences if one's likelihood function takes a particular simple form. 2. In the simplest form, they are symmetric among the agents in the group. 3. They map neatly onto the familiar Condorcet voting results. 4. They (...) 

to appear in Szabó Gendler, T. & J. Hawthorne (eds.) Oxford Studies in Epistemology volume 6 / We often ask for the opinion of a group of individuals. How strongly does the scientific community believe that the rate at which sea levels are rising increased over the last 200 years? How likely does the UK Treasury think it is that there will be a recession if the country leaves the European Union? What are these group credences that such questions request? (...) 



*This is the first draft of this book* / What you value and the extent to which you value it changes over the course of your life. A person might currently greatly value pursuing philosophy, and value spending time in nature much less; but, having watched their parents as they have grown older, and noting that they are very much like their parents, that person might have good reason to think that they will value the pursuit of philosophy much less (...) 

The article proceeds upon the assumption that the beliefs and degrees of belief of rational agents satisfy a number of constraints, including: consistency and deductive closure for belief sets, conformity to the axioms of probability for degrees of belief, and the Lockean Thesis concerning the relationship between belief and degree of belief. Assuming that the beliefs and degrees of belief of both individuals and collectives satisfy the preceding three constraints, I discuss what further constraints may be imposed on the aggregation (...) 

We explore which types of probabilistic updating commute with convex IP pooling. Positive results are stated for Bayesian conditionalization, imaging, and a certain parameterization of Jeffrey conditioning. This last observation is obtained with the help of a slight generalization of a characterization of externally Bayesian pooling operators due to Wagner :336–345, 2009). These results strengthen the case that pooling should go by imprecise probabilities since no precise pooling method is as versatile. 

Two compelling principles, the Reasonable Range Principle and the Preservation of Irrelevant Evidence Principle, are necessary conditions that any response to peer disagreements ought to abide by. The Reasonable Range Principle maintains that a resolution to a peer disagreement should not fall outside the range of views expressed by the peers in their dispute, whereas the Preservation of Irrelevant Evidence Principle maintains that a resolution strategy should be able to preserve unanimous judgments of evidential irrelevance among the peers. No standard (...) 

In this paper I present a precise version of Stalnaker's thesis and show that it is both consistent and predicts our intuitive judgments about the probabilities of conditionals. The thesis states that someone whose total evidence is E should have the same credence in the proposition expressed by 'if A then B' in a context where E is salient as they have conditional credence in the proposition B expresses given the proposition A expresses in that context. The thesis is formalised (...) 

How can different individuals' probability functions on a given sigmaalgebra of events be aggregated into a collective probability function? Classic approaches to this problem often require 'eventwise independence': the collective probability for each event should depend only on the individuals' probabilities for that event. In practice, however, some events may be 'basic' and others 'derivative', so that it makes sense first to aggregate the probabilities for the former and then to let these constrain the probabilities for the latter. We formalize (...) 

How can different individuals' probability assignments to some events be aggregated into a collective probability assignment? Classic results on this problem assume that the set of relevant events  the agenda  is a sigmaalgebra and is thus closed under disjunction (union) and conjunction (intersection). We drop this demanding assumption and explore probabilistic opinion pooling on general agendas. One might be interested in the probability of rain and that of an interestrate increase, but not in the probability of rain or (...) 

A group is often construed as a single agent with its own probabilistic beliefs (credences), which are obtained by aggregating those of the individuals, for instance through averaging. In their celebrated contribution “Groupthink”, Russell et al. (2015) apply the Bayesian paradigm to groups by requiring group credences to undergo a Bayesian revision whenever new information is learnt, i.e., whenever the individual credences undergo a Bayesian revision based on this information. Bayesians should often strengthen this requirement by extending it to nonpublic (...) 