Judgment aggregation and the problem of tracking the truth

Synthese 187 (1):209-221 (2012)
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Abstract

The aggregation of consistent individual judgments on logically interconnected propositions into a collective judgment on those propositions has recently drawn much attention. Seemingly reasonable aggregation procedures, such as propositionwise majority voting, cannot ensure an equally consistent collective conclusion. The literature on judgment aggregation refers to that problem as the discursive dilemma. In this paper, we motivate that many groups do not only want to reach a factually right conclusion, but also want to correctly evaluate the reasons for that conclusion. In other words, we address the problem of tracking the true situation instead of merely selecting the right outcome. We set up a probabilistic model analogous to Bovens and Rabinowicz (2006) and compare several aggregation procedures by means of theoretical results, numerical simulations and practical considerations. Among them are the premise-based, the situation-based and the distance-based procedure. Our findings confirm the conjecture in Hartmann, Pigozzi and Sprenger (2008) that the premise-based procedure is a crude, but reliable and sometimes even optimal form of judgment aggregation.

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Author Profiles

Jan Sprenger
University of Turin
Stephan Hartmann
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München