Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):28-42 (2006)

Miriam Solomon
Temple University
Trust in the practice of rational deliberation is widespread and largely unquestioned. This paper uses recent work from business contexts to challenge the view that rational deliberation in a group improves decisions. Pressure to reach consensus can, in fact, lead to phenomena such as groupthink and to suppression of relevant data. Aggregation of individual decisions, rather than deliberation to a consensus, surprisingly, can produce better decisions than those of either group deliberation or individual expert judgment. I argue that dissent is epistemically valuable, not because of the discussion it can provoke (Mill’s and Longino’s view about the benefit of dissent), but because dissenting positions often are associated with particular data or insights that would be lost in consensus formation. Social epistemologists can usefully pay attention to various methods of aggregation of individual opinion for their effectiveness at realizing epistemic goals
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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Reprint years 2006
ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00028.x
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Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
Collaboration, Interdisciplinarity, and the Epistemology of Contemporary Science.Hanne Andersen - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 56:1-10.
Epistemic Virtues in Business.Boudewijn de Bruin - 2013 - Journal of Business Ethics 113 (4):583-595.

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