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)
|Through your library||Only published papers are available at libraries|
Similar books and articles
Anita Avramides (2001). Other Minds. Routledge.
Anil Gomes (2011). McDowell's Disjunctivism and Other Minds. Inquiry 54 (3):277-292.
Radu J. Bogdan (2005). Why Self-Ascriptions Are Difficult and Develop Late. In B. Malle & S. Hodges. (eds.), Other Minds. Guilford Press. 190--206.
Matheson Russell & Jack Reynolds (2011). Transcendental Arguments About Other Minds and Intersubjectivity. Philosophy Compass 6 (5):300-11.
Anil Gomes (2009). Other Minds and Perceived Identity. Dialectica 63 (2):219-230.
Stephen R. L. Clark (2003). Non-Personal Minds. In Minds and Persons: Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement: 53. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 185-209.
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.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads4 ( #196,166 of 1,018,284 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #65,343 of 1,018,284 )
How can I increase my downloads?