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  1. Can Coherence Generate Warrant Ex Nihilo? Probability and the Logic of Concurring Witnesses.James Van Cleve - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):337-380.
    Most foundationalists allow that relations of coherence among antecedently justified beliefs can enhance their overall level of justification or warrant. In light of this, some coherentists ask the following question: if coherence can elevate the epistemic status of a set of beliefs, what prevents it from generating warrant entirely on its own? Why do we need the foundationalist’s basic beliefs? I address that question here, drawing lessons from an instructive series of attempts to reconstruct within the probability calculus the classical (...)
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  • Justifying Deliberative Democracy: Are Two Heads Always Wiser Than One|[Quest]|.Zsuzsanna Chappell - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):78.
    Democracy is usually justified either on intrinsic or instrumental, particularly epistemic, grounds. Intrinsic justifications stress the values inherent in the democratic process itself, whereas epistemic ones stress that it results in good outcomes. This article examines whether epistemic justifications for deliberative democracy are superior to intrinsic ones. The Condorcet jury theorem is the most common epistemic justification of democracy. I argue that it is not appropriate for deliberative democracy. Yet deliberative democrats often explicitly state that the process will favour the (...)
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  • The Social Value of Non-Deferential Belief.Allan Hazlett - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (1):131-151.
    We often prefer non-deferential belief to deferential belief. In the last twenty years, epistemology has seen a surge of sympathetic interest in testimony as a source of knowledge. We are urged to abandon ‘epistemic individualism’ and the ideal of the ‘autonomous knower’ in favour of ‘social epistemology’. In this connection, you might think that a preference for non-deferential belief is a manifestation of vicious individualism, egotism, or egoism. I shall call this the selfishness challenge to preferring non-deferential belief. The aim (...)
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  • Yes, We Can : Answers to Critics.Hélène Landemore - 2014 - Critical Review 26 (1-2):184-237.
    ABSTRACTThe idea that the crowd could ever be intelligent is a counterintuitive one. Our modern, Western faith in experts and bureaucracies is rooted in the notion that political competence is the purview of the select few. Here, as in my book Democratic Reason, I defend the opposite view: that the diverse many are often smarter than a group of select elites because of the different cognitive tools, perspectives, heuristics, and knowledge they bring to political problem solving and prediction. In this (...)
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  • Egalitarianism and Moral Bioenhancement.Robert Sparrow - 2014 - American Journal of Bioethics 14 (4):20-28.
    A number of philosophers working in applied ethics and bioethics are now earnestly debating the ethics of what they term “moral bioenhancement.” I argue that the society-wide program of biological manipulations required to achieve the purported goals of moral bioenhancement would necessarily implicate the state in a controversial moral perfectionism. Moreover, the prospect of being able to reliably identify some people as, by biological constitution, significantly and consistently more moral than others would seem to pose a profound challenge to egalitarian (...)
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  • Independence and Interdependence: Lessons From the Hive.Christian List & Adrian Vermeule - 2014 - Rationality and Society 26 (2):170-207.
    There is a substantial class of collective decision problems whose successful solution requires interdependence among decision makers at the agenda-setting stage and independence at the stage of choice. We define this class of problems and describe and apply a search-and-decision mechanism theoretically modeled in the context of honeybees and identified in earlier empirical work in biology. The honeybees’ mechanism has useful implications for mechanism design in human institutions, including courts, legislatures, executive appointments, research and development in firms, and basic research (...)
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  • Beyond Existence and Aiming Outside the Laboratory: Estimating Frequency-Dependent and Payoff-Biased Social Learning Strategies.Peter J. Richerson - unknown
    The existence of social learning has been confirmed in diverse taxa, from apes to guppies. In order to advance our understanding of the consequences of social transmission and evolution of behavior, however, we require statistical tools that can distinguish among diverse social learning strategies. In this paper, we advance two main ideas. First, social learning is diverse, in the sense that individuals can take advantage of different kinds of information and combine them in different ways. Examining learning strategies for different (...)
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  • No Testimonial Route to Consensus.Philip Pettit - 2006 - Episteme 3 (3):156-165.
    The standard image of how consensus can be achieved is by pooling evidence and reducing if not eliminating disagreements. But rather than just pooling substantive evidence on a certain question, why not also take into account the formal, testimonial evidence provided by the fact that a majority of the group adopt a particular answer? Shouldn't we be reinforced by the discovery that we are on that majority side, and undermined by the discovery that we are not? Shouldn't this be so, (...)
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  • Epistemic Value Theory and Judgment Aggregation.Don Fallis - 2005 - Episteme 2 (1):39-55.
    The doctrinal paradox shows that aggregating individual judgments by taking a majority vote does not always yield a consistent set of collective judgments. Philip Pettit, Luc Bovens, and Wlodek Rabinowicz have recently argued for the epistemic superiority of an aggregation procedure that always yields a consistent set of judgments. This paper identifies several additional epistemic advantages of their consistency maintaining procedure. However, this paper also shows that there are some circumstances where the majority vote procedure is epistemically superior. The epistemic (...)
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  • Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective.Christian List - 2005 - Episteme 2 (1):25-38.
    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 (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Democracy.Elizabeth Anderson - 2006 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 3 (1):8-22.
  • The Epistemology of Democracy.Elizabeth Anderson - 2006 - Episteme 3 (1-2):8-22.
    Th is paper investigates the epistemic powers of democratic institutions through an assessment of three epistemic models of democracy : the Condorcet Jury Th eorem, the Diversity Trumps Ability Th eorem, and Dewey's experimentalist model. Dewey's model is superior to the others in its ability to model the epistemic functions of three constitutive features of democracy : the epistemic diversity of participants, the interaction of voting with discussion, and feedback mechanisms such as periodic elections and protests. It views democracy as (...)
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  • Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - 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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  • Epistemology in Group Agency: Six Objections in Search of the Truth. [REVIEW]Fabrizio Cariani - 2012 - Episteme 9 (3):255-269.
    List and Pettit's Group Agency is an extremely important book, spearheading a new wave of work on the metaphysics, epistemology and ethics of group agents. In this article, I focus on the epistemological thread in their discussion. After introducing the apparatus they use in analyzing the epistemic performance of groups, I criticize some elements and point to some ways in which the very same apparatus could be redirected to address them.Export citation Request permission.
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  • Plural Voting for the Twenty-First Century.Thomas Mulligan - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (271):286-306.
    Recent political developments cast doubt on the wisdom of democratic decision-making. Brexit, the Colombian people's (initial) rejection of peace with the FARC, and the election of Donald Trump suggest that the time is right to explore alternatives to democracy. In this essay, I describe and defend the epistocratic system of government which is, given current theoretical and empirical knowledge, most likely to produce optimal political outcomes—or at least better outcomes than democracy produces. To wit, we should expand the suffrage as (...)
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  • On the Significance of the Absolute Margin.Christian List - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):521-544.
    Consider the hypothesis H that a defendant is guilty, and the evidence E that a majority of h out of n independent jurors have voted for H and a minority of k:=n-h against H. How likely is the majority verdict to be correct? By a formula of Condorcet, the probability that H is true given E depends only on each juror's competence and on the absolute margin between the majority and the minority h-k, but neither on the number n, nor (...)
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  • The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - LSE Choice Group Working Paper Series 4 (2).
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justi…ed depends on the notion of probability considered; none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justi…ed. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • A Model of Jury Decisions Where All Jurors Have the Same Evidence.Franz Dietrich & Christian List - 2004 - Synthese 142 (2):175 - 202.
    Under the independence and competence assumptions of Condorcet’s classical jury model, the probability of a correct majority decision converges to certainty as the jury size increases, a seemingly unrealistic result. Using Bayesian networks, we argue that the model’s independence assumption requires that the state of the world (guilty or not guilty) is the latest common cause of all jurors’ votes. But often – arguably in all courtroom cases and in many expert panels – the latest such common cause is a (...)
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  • A General Model of a Group Search Procedure, Applied to Epistemic Democracy.Christopher Thompson - 2013 - Synthese 190 (7):1233-1252.
    The standard epistemic justification for inclusiveness in political decision making is the Condorcet Jury Theorem, which states that the probability of a correct decision using majority rule increases in group size (given certain assumptions). Informally, majority rule acts as a mechanism to pool the information contained in the judgements of individual agents. I aim to extend the explanation of how groups of political agents track the truth. Before agents can pool the information, they first need to find truth-conducive information. Increasing (...)
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  • The Discursive Dilemma and Public Reason.Christian List - 2006 - Ethics 116 (2):362-402.
    Political theorists have offered many accounts of collective decision-making under pluralism. I discuss a key dimension on which such accounts differ: the importance assigned not only to the choices made but also to the reasons underlying those choices. On that dimension, different accounts lie in between two extremes. The ‘minimal liberal account’ holds that collective decisions should be made only on practical actions or policies and that underlying reasons should be kept private. The ‘comprehensive deliberative account’ stresses the importance of (...)
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  • Distributed Cognition: A Perspective From Social Choice Theory.Christian List - 2003 - In M. Albert, D. Schmidtchen & S. Voigt (eds.), Scientific Competition: Theory and Policy, Conferences on New Political Economy. Mohr Siebeck.
    Distributed cognition refers to processes which are (i) cognitive and (ii) distributed across multiple agents or devices rather than performed by a single agent. Distributed cognition has attracted interest in several fields ranging from sociology and law to computer science and the philosophy of science. In this paper, I discuss distributed cognition from a social-choice-theoretic perspective. Drawing on models of judgment aggregation, I address two questions. First, how can we model a group of individuals as a distributed cognitive system? Second, (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Special Majority Voting: Why the Proportion is Special Only in Special Conditions.Christian List - unknown
    I am grateful to Geoffrey Brennan, Campbell Brown, Franz Dietrich, Christian Elsholtz, Robert Goodin, Frank Jackson and David Soskice for very helpful comments and suggestions; and to the participants of a Social and Political Theory seminar at the ANU in February 2003 and the participants of a conference panel of the Australasian Association of Philosophy at the University of Adelaide in July 2003 for comments and discussion.
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  • The Premises of Condorcet’s Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 5 (1):56-73.
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they should be competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justified depends on the notion of uncertainty or probability employed; no such notion renders both premises simultaneously justified. Especially the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • Anchoring in Deliberations.Stephan Hartmann & Soroush Rafiee Rad - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-29.
    Deliberation is a standard procedure for making decisions in not too large groups. It has the advantage that group members can learn from each other and that, at the end, often a consensus emerges that everybody endorses. Unfortunately, however, implementing a deliberation procedure also has a number of disadvantages due to the cognitive limitations of the individual group members. What is more, the very process of deliberation introduces an additional bias, which we investigate in this article. We demonstrate that even (...)
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  • An Epistemic Free-Riding Problem?Christian List & Philip Pettit - 2004 - In Philip Catton & Graham Macdonald (eds.), Karl Popper: Critical Appraisals. Routledge.
    One of the hallmark themes of Karl Popper’s approach to the social sciences was the insistence that when social scientists are members of the society they study, then they are liable to affect that society. In particular, they are liable to affect it in such a way that the claims they make lose their validity. “The interaction between the scientist’s pronouncements and social life almost invariably creates situations in which we have not only to consider the truth of such pronouncements, (...)
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  • Deliberative Democracy and the Discursive Dilemma.Philip Pettit - 2001 - Noûs 35 (s1):268-299.
    Taken as a model for how groups should make collective judgments and decisions, the ideal of deliberative democracy is inherently ambiguous. Consider the idealised case where it is agreed on all sides that a certain conclusion should be endorsed if and only if certain premises are admitted. Does deliberative democracy recommend that members of the group debate the premises and then individually vote, in the light of that debate, on whether or not to support the conclusion? Or does it recommend (...)
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  • Social Choice Theory.Christian List - 2013 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social choice theory is the study of collective decision processes and procedures. It is not a single theory, but a cluster of models and results concerning the aggregation of individual inputs (e.g., votes, preferences, judgments, welfare) into collective outputs (e.g., collective decisions, preferences, judgments, welfare). Central questions are: How can a group of individuals choose a winning outcome (e.g., policy, electoral candidate) from a given set of options? What are the properties of different voting systems? When is a voting system (...)
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  • Voting Procedures for Complex Collective Decisions. An Epistemic Perspective.Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2004 - Ratio Juris 17 (2):241-258.
    Suppose a committee or a jury confronts a complex question, the answer to which requires attending to several sub-questions. Two different voting procedures can be used. On one, the committee members vote on each sub-question and the voting results are used as premises for the committee’s conclusion on the main issue. This premise-based procedure can be contrasted with the conclusion-based approach, which requires the members to directly vote on the conclusion, with the vote of each member being guided by her (...)
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  • Democratic Answers to Complex Questions – An Epistemic Perspective.Luc Bovens & Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2006 - Synthese 150 (1):131-153.
    This paper addresses a problem for theories of epistemic democracy. In a decision on a complex issue which can be decomposed into several parts, a collective can use different voting procedures: Either its members vote on each sub-question and the answers that gain majority support are used as premises for the conclusion on the main issue, or the vote is conducted on the main issue itself. The two procedures can lead to different results. We investigate which of these procedures is (...)
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  • Epistemic Democracy and the Social Character of Knowledge.Michael Fuerstein - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):pp. 74-93.
    How can democratic governments be relied upon to achieve adequate political knowledge when they turn over their authority to those of no epistemic distinction whatsoever? This deep and longstanding concern is one that any proponent of epistemic conceptions of democracy must take seriously. While Condorcetian responses have recently attracted substantial interest, they are largely undermined by a fundamental neglect of agenda-setting. I argue that the apparent intractability of the problem of epistemic adequacy in democracy stems in large part from a (...)
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  • One Standard to Rule Them All?Marc‐Kevin Daoust - 2019 - Ratio 32 (1):12-21.
    It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...)
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  • Justifying Deliberative Democracy: Are Two Heads Always Wiser Than One?Zsuzsanna Chappell - 2011 - Contemporary Political Theory 10 (1):78-101.
    Democracy is usually justified either on intrinsic or instrumental, particularly epistemic, grounds. Intrinsic justifications stress the values inherent in the democratic process itself, whereas epistemic ones stress that it results in good outcomes. This article examines whether epistemic justifications for deliberative democracy are superior to intrinsic ones. The Condorcet jury theorem is the most common epistemic justification of democracy. I argue that it is not appropriate for deliberative democracy. Yet deliberative democrats often explicitly state that the process will favour the (...)
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  • Deliberative Democracy and the Discursive Dilemma.Philip Pettit - 2001 - Philosophical Issues 11 (1):268-299.
    Taken as a model for how groups should make collective judgments and decisions, the ideal of deliberative democracy is inherently ambiguous. Consider the idealised case where it is agreed on all sides that a certain conclusion should be endorsed if and only if certain premises are admitted. Does deliberative democracy recommend that members of the group debate the premises and then individually vote, in the light of that debate, on whether or not to support the conclusion? Or does it recommend (...)
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  • Belief Dependence: How Do the Numbers Count?Zach Barnett - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (2):297-319.
    This paper is about how to aggregate outside opinion. If two experts are on one side of an issue, while three experts are on the other side, what should a non-expert believe? Certainly, the non-expert should take into account more than just the numbers. But which other factors are relevant, and why? According to the view developed here, one important factor is whether the experts should have been expected, in advance, to reach the same conclusion. When the agreement of two (...)
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  • The Premises of Condorcet's Jury Theorem Are Not Simultaneously Justified.Franz Dietrich - 2008 - Episteme 5 (1):56-73.
    Condorcet's famous jury theorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: (i) whether a premise is justified depends on the notion of probability considered and (ii) none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justified. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
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  • Reliable Group Belief.Jeffrey Dunn - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Many now countenance the idea that certain groups can have beliefs, or at least belief-like states. If groups can have beliefs like these, the question of whether such beliefs are justified immediately arises. Recently, Goldman Essays in collective epistemology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014) has considered what a reliability-based account of justified group belief might look like. In this paper I consider his account and find it wanting, and so propose a modified reliability-based account of justified group belief. Lackey :341–396, (...)
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  • When to Defer to Majority Testimony – and When Not.Philip Pettit - 2006 - Analysis 66 (3):179–187.
    How sensitive should you be to the testimony of others? You saw the car that caused an accident going through traffic lights on the red; or so you thought. Should you revise your belief on discovering that the majority of bystanders, equally well-equipped, equally well-positioned and equally impartial, reported that it went through on the green? Or take another case. You believe that intelligent design is the best explanation for the order of the living universe. Should you revise that belief (...)
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