Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective

Episteme 2 (1):25-38 (2005)
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Abstract

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 can meet two challenges: the ‘rationality challenge’ and the ‘knowledge challenge’. The rationality challenge arises when a group is required to endorse consistent beliefs or judgments; the knowledge challenge arises when the group’s beliefs or judgments are required to track certain truths. My discussion seeks to identify those properties of an aggregation procedure that affect a group’s success at meeting each of the two challenges.

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Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

References found in this work

Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Knowledge in a social world.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Epistemic cultures: how the sciences make knowledge.Karin Knorr-Cetina - 1999 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Mind 93 (371):450-455.

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