David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Many-minds arguments are flooding into legal theory. Such arguments claim that in some way or another, many heads are better than one; the genus includes many species, such as arguments about how legal and political institutions aggregate information, evolutionary analyses of those institutions, claims about the benefits of tradition as a source of law, and analyses of the virtues and vices of deliberation. This essay offers grounds for skepticism about many-minds arguments. I provide an intellectual zoology of such arguments and suggest that they are of low utility for legal theory. Four general and recurring problems with many-minds arguments are as follows: (1) Whose minds?: The group or population whose minds are at issue is often equivocal or ill-defined. (2) Many minds, worse minds: The quality of minds is not independent of their number; rather, number endogenously influences quality, often for the worse. More minds can be systematically worse than fewer because of selection effects, incentives for epistemic free-riding, and emotional and social influences. (3) Epistemic bottlenecks: In the legal system, the epistemic benefits of many minds are often diluted or eliminated because the structure of institutions funnels decisions through an individual decisionmaker, or a small group of decisionmakers, who occupy a kind of epistemic bottleneck or chokepoint. (4) Many minds vs. many minds: The insight that many heads can be better than one gets little purchase on the institutional comparisons that pervade legal theory, which are typically many-to-many comparisons rather than one-to-many.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library||
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Anita Avramides (2001). Other Minds. Routledge.
Robert D. Rupert (2005). Minding One's Cognitive Systems: When Does a Group of Minds Constitute a Single Cognitive Unit? Episteme 1 (3):177-188.
Stephen R. L. Clark (2003). Non-Personal Minds. In Minds and Persons: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 53. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 185-209.
Anil Gomes (2009). Other Minds and Perceived Identity. Dialectica 63 (2):219-230.
Matheson Russell & Jack Reynolds (2011). Transcendental Arguments About Other Minds and Intersubjectivity. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):300-11.
Radu J. Bogdan (2005). Why Self-Ascriptions Are Difficult and Develop Late. In B. Malle & S. Hodges. (eds.), Other Minds. Guilford Press. 190--206.
Anil Gomes (2011). McDowell's Disjunctivism and Other Minds. Inquiry 54 (3):277-292.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #264,559 of 1,100,036 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #304,128 of 1,100,036 )
How can I increase my downloads?