Bayesian group agents and two modes of aggregation

Synthese 135 (3):347-377 (2003)
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Suppose we have a group of Bayesian agents, and suppose that theywould like for their group as a whole to be a Bayesian agent as well. Moreover, suppose that thoseagents want the probabilities and utilities attached to this group agent to be aggregated from theindividual probabilities and utilities in reasonable ways. Two ways of aggregating their individual data areavailable to them, viz., ex ante aggregation and ex post aggregation. The former aggregatesexpected utilities directly, whereas the latter aggregates probabilities and utilities separately.A number of recent formal results show that both approaches have problematic implications. This studydiscusses the philosophical issues arising from those results. In this process, I hope to convincethe reader that these results about Bayesian aggregation are highly significant to decision theorists, butalso of immense interest to theorists working in areas such as ethics and political philosophy



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Mathias Risse
Harvard University

Citations of this work

Bayesian group belief.Franz Dietrich - 2010 - Social Choice and Welfare 35 (4):595-626.
Advances in belief dynamics: Introduction.F. Liu & O. Roy - 2010 - Synthese 173 (2):123-126.

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The Foundations of Statistics.Leonard J. Savage - 1954 - Wiley Publications in Statistics.
Social Choice and Individual Values.Kenneth Joseph Arrow - 1951 - New York, NY, USA: Wiley: New York.
Functions Resembling Quotients of Measures.Ethan Bolker - 1966 - Transactions of the American Mathematical Society 2:292–312.

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