Filozofija I Društvo 23 (2):147-167 (2012)

Bojana Radovanovic
Cambridge University
Each of us makes a number of decisions, from the less important to those with far-reaching consequences. As members of different groups, we are also actors of group decision making. In order to make a rational decision, a choice-making procedure must satisfy a number of assumptions of rationality. In addition, when it comes to group decisions, those procedures should also be?fair.? However, it is not possible to define a procedure of choice-making that would transform individual orders of alternatives based on preferences of perfectly rational individuals into a single social order and still meet conditions of rationality and ethics. The theory of deliberative democracy appeared in response to the impossibility of Social Choice theory. The basic assumption of deliberative democracy is that individuals adjust their preferences taking into account interests of the community. They are open for discussion with other group members and are willing to change their attitudes in order to achieve common interests. Ideally, group members come to an agreement during public discussion. Still, this concept cannot completely over?come all the difficulties posed by the theory of social choice. Specifically, there is no solution for strategic and manipulative behavior of individuals. Also, the concept of deliberative democracy faces certain problems particular to this approach, such as, to name but a few, problems with the establishment of equality of participants in the debate and their motivation, as well as problems with the organization of public hearings.
Keywords rational choice theory, individual decision making, group decision making, deliberative democracy
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DOI 10.2298/fid1202147r
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