The Premises of Condorcet’s Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified

Episteme 5 (1):56-73 (2008)
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Abstract

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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Franz Dietrich
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

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