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Kai Spiekermann [12]Kai P. Spiekermann [1]
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Profile: Kai Spiekermann (London School of Economics)
  1. Kai Spiekermann (forthcoming). Buying Low, Flying High: Carbon Offsets and Partial Compliance. Political Studies.
    Many companies offer their customers voluntary carbon ‘offset’ certificates to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary offset certificates are cheap because the demand for them is low, allowing consumers to compensate for their emissions without significant sacrifices. Regarding the distribution of emission reduction responsibilities I argue that excess emissions are permissible if they are offset properly. However, if individuals buy offsets only because they are cheap, they fail to be robustly motivated to choose a permissible course of action.This suspected lack (...)
     
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  2. Kai Spiekermann (2014). Small Impacts and Imperceptible Effects: Causing Harm with Others. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):75-90.
  3. Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann (2013). Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises. Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):87--120.
    The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation (...)
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  4. Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann (2013). Independent Opinions? On the Causal Foundations of Belief Formation and Jury Theorems. Mind 122 (487):fzt074.
    It is often claimed that opinions are more likely to be correct if they are held independently by many individuals. But what does it mean to hold independent opinions? To clarify this condition, we distinguish four notions of probabilistic opinion independence. Which notion applies depends on environmental factors such as commonly perceived evidence. More formally, it depends on the causal network that determines how people interact and form their opinions. In a general theorem, we identify conditions on this network that (...)
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  5. Christian List & Kai Spiekermann (2013). Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation. American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  6. Kai Spiekermann (2013). Kelly , Jamie Terence . Framing Democracy: A Behavioral Approach to Democratic Theory . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. Pp. 157. $35.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Ethics 123 (3):568-572.
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  7. Goodin, E. Robert & Kai Spiekermann (2012). Epistemic Aspects of Representative Government. European Political Science Review 4 (3):303--325.
    The Federalist, justifying the Electoral College to elect the president, claimed that a small group of more informed individuals would make a better decision than the general mass. But the Condorcet Jury Theorem tells us that the more independent, better-than-random voters there are, the more likely it will be that the majority among them will be correct. The question thus arises as to how much better, on average, members of the smaller group would have to be to compensate for the (...)
     
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  8. Kai Spiekermann & Robert E. Goodin (2012). Courts of Many Minds. British Journal of Political Science 42:555-571.
    In 'A Constitution of Many Minds' Cass Sunstein argues that the three major approaches to constitutional interpretation – Traditionalism, Populism and Cosmopolitanism – all rely on some variation of a ‘many-minds’ argument. Here we assess each of these claims through the lens of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. In regard to the first two approaches we explore the implications of sequential influence among courts (past and foreign, respectively). In regard to the Populist approach, we consider the influence of opinion leaders.
     
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  9. Fabienne Peter & Kai Spiekermann (2011). Rules, Norms, and Commitment. In Jarvie, Ian & Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Social Sciences. Sage. 216--232.
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  10. Kai Spiekermann (2010). Judgement Aggregation and Distributed Thinking. AI and Society 25 (4):401-412.
    In recent years, judgement aggregation has emerged as an important area of social choice theory. Judgement aggregation is concerned with aggregating sets of individual judgements over logically connected propositions into a set of collective judgements. It has been shown that even seemingly weak conditions on the aggregation function make it impossible to find functions that produce rational collective judgements from all possible rational individual judgements. This implies that the step from individual judgements to collective judgements requires trade-offs between different desiderata, (...)
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  11. Kai P. Spiekermann (2009). Sort Out Your Neighbourhood. Synthese 168 (2):273 - 294.
    Axelrod (The evolution of cooperation, 1984) and others explain how cooperation can emerge in repeated 2-person prisoner’s dilemmas. But in public good games with anonymous contributions, we expect a breakdown of cooperation because direct reciprocity fails. However, if agents are situated in a social network determining which agents interact, and if they can influence the network, then cooperation can be a viable strategy. Social networks are modelled as graphs. Agents play public good games with their neighbours. After each game, they (...)
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  12. Kai Spiekermann (2008). Reply: Clubbish Justice. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (4):447-453.
    Replying to my earlier article `Translucency, Assortation, and Information Pooling: How Groups Solve Social Dilemmas', Robert Goodin examines the normative implications of the rule `cooperate with those whose inclusion benefits the larger scheme of cooperation', and gives several reasons for why the conversion of justice into a club good is normatively unappealing. This reply to Goodin discusses whether the rule leads to an exclusion of poor agents, whether a group should hire agents to detect free-riders, and how a group should (...)
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  13. Kai Spiekermann (2007). Translucency, Assortation, and Information Pooling: How Groups Solve Social Dilemmas. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):285-306.
    In one-shot public goods dilemmas, defection is the strictly dominant strategy. However, agents with cooperative strategies can do well if (1) agents are `translucent' (that is, if agents can fallibly recognize the strategy other agents play ex ante ) and (2) an institutional structure allows `assortation' such that cooperative agents can increase the likelihood of playing with their own kind. The model developed in this article shows that even weak levels of translucency suffice if cooperators are able to pool their (...)
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