Optimal Judgment Aggregation

Philosophy of Science 74 (5):813-824 (2007)
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Abstract

The constitution of a collective judgment is analyzed from a contractarian point of view. The optimal collective judgment is defined as the one that maximizes the sum of the utility each member gets from the collective adoption of that judgment. It is argued that judgment aggregation is a different process from the aggregation of information and public deliberation. This entails that the adoption of a collective judgment should not make any rational member of the group change her individual opinion, and so the collective judgment can not have any kind of epistemic superiority over the individual ones. ‡The author acknowledges Spanish Government's research projects HUM2005–01686/FISO and HUM2005-25447-E, as well as the grant PR2006-0108 which allowed a three months stay at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies, in which a big part of this paper was written. †To contact the author, please write to: Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia, Dpto. de Lógica, Historia y F. de la ciencia, Humanidades, Paseo de Senda del rey 7, 28040 Madrid, Spain; e-mail: [email protected]

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