Social Choice Theory

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2013)
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Abstract

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 democratic? How can a collective (e.g., electorate, legislature, collegial court, expert panel, or committee) arrive at coherent collective preferences or judgments on some issues, on the basis of its members' individual preferences or judgments? How can we rank different social alternatives in an order of social welfare? Social choice theorists study these questions not just by looking at examples, but by developing general models and proving theorems.

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Christian List
Ludwig Maximilians Universität, München

Citations of this work

Neighborhood Semantics for Modal Logic.Eric Pacuit - 2017 - Cham, Switzerland: Springer.
The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press.
Three Kinds of Collective Attitudes.Christian List - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (S9):1601-1622.
The Methodology of Political Theory.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - In Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.

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References found in this work

Reasons and Persons.Derek Parfit - 1984 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
Causality: Models, Reasoning and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Inequality Reexamined.Amartya Sen - 1927 - Oxford University Press UK.
An Epistemic Theory of Democracy.Robert E. Goodin & Kai Spiekermann - 2018 - Oxford, United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. Edited by Kai Spiekermann.

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