Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective

Episteme 2 (1):25-38 (2005)
Abstract
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 can meet two challenges: the ‘rationality challenge’ and the ‘knowledge challenge’. The rationality challenge arises when a group is required to endorse consistent beliefs or judgments; the knowledge challenge arises when the group’s beliefs or judgments are required to track certain truths. My discussion seeks to identify those properties of an aggregation procedure that affect a group’s success at meeting each of the two challenges.
Keywords Group knowledge  Group rationality  Collective belief  Social epistemology  Judgment aggregation
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DOI 10.3366/epi.2005.2.1.25
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Citations of this work BETA
Christian List & Philip Pettit (2006). Group Agency and Supervenience. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):85-105.
Cathal O'Madagain (2012). Group Agents: Persons, Mobs, or Zombies? International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (2):271-287.

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