In this paper I take issue with Allison's ‘two aspect’ view of Kant's transcendental distinction between appearances and things-in-themselves. Unlike those of Allison's critics, who criticize him, and by implication Kant, based on some form of the ‘two world’ view, I argue that, even Allison's methodological, more moderate interpretation, nevertheless includes an excessive commitment to the role of things-in-themselves in Kant's theoretical philosophy, a commitment which is both unnecessary and incompatible with Kant's text. I offer an alternative interpretation which, in (...) my view, is at once more accurate, and more defensible against the familiar claim that Kant's philosophy is either incompatible with itself or it inevitably leads to idealism. (shrink)
below) is the so called Borda ranking method. Our work differs from the previous studies in three respects: First, in our model each individual's list of paired comparisons of the alternatives is assumed to be connected and asynunetric and not necessarily transitive.
Many voting rules and, in particular, the plurality rule and Condorcet-consistent voting rules satisfy the simple-majority decisiveness property. The problem implied by such decisiveness, namely, the universal disregard of the preferences of the minority, can be ameliorated by applying unbiased scoring rules such as the classical Borda rule, but such amelioration has a price; it implies erosion in the implementation of the widely accepted majority principle . Furthermore, the problems of majority decisiveness and of the erosion in the majority principle (...) are not necessarily severe when one takes into account the likelihood of their occurrence. This paper focuses on the evaluation of the severity of the two problems, comparing simple-majoritarian voting rules that allow the decisiveness of the smallest majority larger than 1/2 and the classical Borda method of counts. Our analysis culminates in the derivation of the conditions that determine, in terms of the number of alternatives k, the number of voters n, and the relative (subjective) weight assigned to the severity of the two problems, which of these rules is superior in light of the dual majoritarian approach. (shrink)
This paper clarifies why editors of academic journals should share with their referees the information about the number of referees they consult and the decision rule they apply. Our analysis also rationalizes the common questionable phenomenon of editors who seem to distort the yes or no recommendations of their referees. The editors request a recommendation of whether to accept or reject the paper as well as an assessment of the paper. The editors need the complete reports to make the appropriate (...) correction of the referees' final recommendations. (shrink)
In certain judgmental situations where a “correct” decision is presumed to exist, optimal decision making requires evaluation of the decision-makers’ capabilities and the selection of the appropriate aggregation rule. The major and so far unresolved difficulty is the former necessity. This article presents the optimal aggregation rule that simultaneously satisfies these two interdependent necessary requirements. In our setting, some record of the voters’ past decisions is available, but the correct decisions are not known. We observe that any arbitrary evaluation of (...) the decision-makers’ capabilities as probabilities yields some optimal aggregation rule that, in turn, yields a maximum-likelihood estimation of decisional skills. Thus, a skill-evaluation equilibrium can be defined as an evaluation of decisional skills that yields itself as a maximum-likelihood estimation of decisional skills. We show that such equilibrium exists and offer a procedure for finding one. The obtained equilibrium is locally optimal and is shown empirically to generally be globally optimal in terms of the correctness of the resulting collective decisions. Interestingly, under minimally competent (almost symmetric) skill distributions that allow unskilled decision makers, the optimal rule considerably outperforms the common simple majority rule (SMR). Furthermore, a sufficient record of past decisions ensures that the collective probability of making a correct decision converges to 1, as opposed to accuracy of about 0.7 under SMR. Our proposed optimal voting procedure relaxes the fundamental (and sometimes unrealistic) assumptions in Condorcet’s celebrated theorem and its extensions, such as sufficiently high decision-making quality, skill homogeneity or existence of a sufficiently large group of decision makers. (shrink)
Committee decision making is examined in this study focusing on the role assigned to the committee members. In particular, we are concerned about the comparison between committee performance under specialization and non-specialization of the decision makers. Specialization (in the context of project or public policy selection) means that the decision of each committee member is based on a narrow area, which typically results in the acquirement and use of relatively high expertise in that area. When the committee members’ expertise is (...) already determined, specialization only means that the decision of each committee member is based solely on his/her relatively high expertise area. This form of specialization is potentially inferior relative to non-specialization under which the decision of each committee member is based on different areas, not just his/her relatively high expertise area. Given that the expertise of the committee members is already determined but unknown, our analysis focuses on non-specializing individuals whose decision is based on a decision rule that does not require information on the decision-making skills. Under these realistic assumptions, non-specialization is shown to be preferable over specialization, depending on the aggregation rule applied by the committee. The significance of our approach is not limited to the specific results that we obtain. Rather, it should be viewed as a first step toward a deeper examination of the role of individual decision makers in enhancing the performance of collective decision making. (shrink)
The current note clarifies why, in committees, the prior probability of a correct collective choice might be of particular significance and possibly should sometimes even be the sole appropriate basis for making the collective decision. In particular, we present sufficient conditions for the superiority of a rule based solely on the prior relative to the simple majority rule, even when the decisional skills of the committee members are assumed to be homogeneous.
The rationalization of context-based choice is usually based on the assumption that preferences are context-dependent. In this paper, we show that context-based choice can be due to the characteristics of the choice procedure applied by the individual and not to the dependence of preferences (stochastic or deterministic) on the context. Our arguments are illustrated focusing on the much-studied dominated-alternative effects.
The main theorem established in this study and its corollaries summarize and generalize the existing results on optimal aggregation of experts judgments under uncertain pairwise choice situations. In particular, we explicate the link between the optimal decision procedure and the decision maker's preferences and biases and the judgmental competences of his consultants. The general theorem directly clarifies under what circumstances the optimal decision rule should be the democratic simple majority rule, the elitist expert rule, an intermediate weighted simple majority rule (...) or a biased weighted or simple qualified majority rule. (shrink)
The paper analyzes the expert resolution problem by employing extended versions of the uncertain dichotomous choice model. The main purpose of this study is to illustrate how the analysis of optimal decision rules can be carried out while dispensing with the common restrictive assumption of full information regarding individual decisional competences. In contrast to most previous studies in this field we here evaluate the expert rule under alternative assumptions regarding the available partial information on judgmental competences rather than compare it (...) in an ad hoc manner to some common alternative rules, such as simple majority rule. A fuller optimality analysis allowing the evaluation of all relevant decision rules, and not merely the expert rule, is attempted for a five-member panel of experts assuming a uniform distribution of individual competences. For three-member groups the optimality issue is resolved by assuming no information on individual competences and interpreting the expert rule as an even-chance lottery on skills. (shrink)
This note demonstrates how certain collective decision methods ensure the selection of alternatives which are the closest to win unanimously. By using four different functions for measuring the distance between preference profiles, we obtain the equivalence between the closeness to unanimity procedure (CUP) and the Borda method, the plurality rule, the probabilistic Borda rule and the L-procedure respectively.
The main concern of this paper is the selection of optimal decision rules for groups of individuals with identical preferences but diverse and dependent decisional skills. The main result establishes that within the uncertain dichotomous choice situation independent voting is always weakly superior to any pattern of interdependence among individual decisions. For the special class of total interdependence patterns the optimal rule is explicitly identified.
One of the major problems in the implementation of the precautionary principle in environmental cases is the estimation of the weight of evidence. In this paper we propose a formal method that determines the weight of evidence based on the specific parameters of a given case. The proposed method is based on an artificial intelligence approach called fuzzy logic, which is commonly used as an interface between logic and human perception, and often applied to computer-based complex decision making. We use (...) one fuzzy expert system that provides a quantification of the estimated environmental damage, and a second fuzzy expert system that computes the weight of evidence in a given case. The proposed expert system can be easily defined and adjusted by regulators and environmental science and policy experts. (shrink)
Summary The article deals with the political thought of the young Spanish philosopher and intellectual, José Ortega y Gasset (1883?1955). The main aim is to examine to what extent his political thought was articulated in a systematic manner, and to understand if it was meant to be practically implemented. Ortega's political thought has been described as liberal on the one hand, and anti-democratic and conservative on the other. The disparities regarding Ortega's politics usually arise from his declarations, which aimed to (...) confront the changing social and political situation in Spain. To many researchers, these declarations seem incoherent, evolutionary, or ideas that can be directly deduced from the evolution of his philosophical theory. The extent to which Ortega's political theory was systematic will be understood through focusing on the role designed for the Spanish intellectuals in Ortega's declarations and works. Instead of considering his political thought in relation to either his philosophy or the political events and changing circumstances in Spain, I will attempt to examine how, during the years of his youth, his political declarations were always guided by a consistent feature with a practical political purpose: to challenge the Spanish intellectuals to promote social awareness of and reflection on the country's problems, and to consider potential solutions to these problems. (shrink)