The persuasiveness of democratic majorities

Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):131-142 (2004)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Under the assumptions of the standard Condorcet Jury Theorem, majority verdicts are virtually certain to be correct if the competence of voters is greater than one-half, and virtually certain to be incorrect if voter competence is less than one-half. But which is the case? Here we turn the Jury Theorem on its head, to provide one way of addressing that question. The same logic implies that, if the outcome saw 60 percent of voters supporting one proposition and 40 percent the other, then average voter competence must either be 0.60 or 0.40. We still have to decide which, but limiting the choice to those two values is a considerable aid in that. Key Words: Condorcet Jury Theorem • epistemic democracy • voter competence.


Added to PP

255 (#80,241)

6 months
117 (#35,599)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

David Estlund
Brown University
Robert Goodin
Australian National University

Citations of this work

An Epistemic Justification for the Obligation to Vote.Julia Maskivker - 2016 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 28 (2):224-247.
The (severe) limits of deliberative democracy as the basis for political choice.Gerald F. Gaus - 2008 - Theoria: A Journal of Social and Political Theory 55 (117):26-53.
The metaethical dilemma of epistemic democracy.Christoph Schamberger - 2023 - Economics and Philosophy 39 (1):1-19.
An Epistemic Case for Positive Voting Duties.Carline Klijnman - 2021 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 33 (1):74-101.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On the significance of the absolute Margin.Christian List - 2004 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):521-544.
The Public Interest.B. M. Barry & W. J. Rees - 1964 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 38 (1):1-38.

Add more references