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Kai Spiekermann [20]Kai P. Spiekermann [1]
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Kai Spiekermann
London School of Economics
  1. Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation.Christian List & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  2. An Epistemic Theory of Democracy.Robert E. Goodin & Kai Spiekermann - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    This book examines the Condorcet Jury Theorem and how its assumptions can be applicable to the real world. It will use the theorem to assess various familiar political practices and alternative institutional arrangements, revealing how best to take advantage of the truth-tracking potential of majoritarian democracy.
     
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  3. Independent Opinions? On the Causal Foundations of Belief Formation and Jury Theorems.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Mind 122 (487):655-685.
    Democratic decision-making is often defended on grounds of the ‘wisdom of crowds’: decisions are more likely to be correct if they are based on many independent opinions, so a typical argument in social epistemology. But what does it mean to have independent opinions? Opinions can be probabilistically dependent even if individuals form their opinion in causal isolation from each other. We distinguish four probabilistic notions of opinion independence. Which of them holds depends on how individuals are causally affected by environmental (...)
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  4.  99
    Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):87--120.
    The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet Jury Theorem to formally justify the ‘wisdom of crowds’. But this theorem is inapplicable in its current form, since one of its premises – voter independence – is notoriously violated. This premise carries responsibility for the theorem's misleading conclusion that ‘large crowds are infallible’. We prove a more useful jury theorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation (...)
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  5. Small Impacts and Imperceptible Effects: Causing Harm with Others.Kai Spiekermann - 2014 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 38 (1):75-90.
  6.  6
    Big Data Justice: A Case for Regulating The Global Information Commons.Kai Spiekermann, Adam Slavny, David V. Axelsen & Holly Lawford-Smith - forthcoming - Journal of Politics.
    The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) challenges political theorists to think about data ownership and policymakers to regulate the collection and use of public data. AI producers benefit from free public data for training their systems while retaining the profits. We argue against the view that the use of public data must be free. The proponents of unconstrained use point out that consuming data does not diminish its quality and that information is in ample supply. Therefore, they suggest, publicly available (...)
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  7.  46
    Epistemic Solidarity as a Political Strategy.Robert E. Goodin & Kai Spiekermann - 2015 - Episteme 12 (4):439-457.
    Solidarity is supposed to facilitate collective action. We argue that it can also help overcome false consciousness. Groups practice if they pool information about what is in their true interest and how to vote accordingly. The more numerous can in this way overcome the but only if they are minimally confident with whom they share the same interests and only if they are better-than-random in voting for the alternative that promotes their interests. Being more cohesive and more competent than the (...)
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  8. Epistemic Aspects of Representative Government. Goodin, E. Robert & Kai Spiekermann - 2012 - European Political Science Review 4 (3):303--325.
    The Federalist, justifying the Electoral College to elect the president, claimed that a small group of more informed individuals would make a better decision than the general mass. But the Condorcet Jury Theorem tells us that the more independent, better-than-random voters there are, the more likely it will be that the majority among them will be correct. The question thus arises as to how much better, on average, members of the smaller group would have to be to compensate for the (...)
     
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  9. Buying Low, Flying High: Carbon Offsets and Partial Compliance.Kai Spiekermann - 2014 - Political Studies 62 (4):913-929.
    Many companies offer their customers voluntary carbon ‘offset’ certificates to compensate for greenhouse gas emissions. Voluntary offset certificates are cheap because the demand for them is low, allowing consumers to compensate for their emissions without significant sacrifices. Regarding the distribution of emission reduction responsibilities I argue that excess emissions are permissible if they are offset properly. However, if individuals buy offsets only because they are cheap, they fail to be robustly motivated to choose a permissible course of action.This suspected lack (...)
     
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  10. Courts of Many Minds.Kai Spiekermann & Robert E. Goodin - 2012 - British Journal of Political Science 42:555-571.
    In 'A Constitution of Many Minds' Cass Sunstein argues that the three major approaches to constitutional interpretation – Traditionalism, Populism and Cosmopolitanism – all rely on some variation of a ‘many-minds’ argument. Here we assess each of these claims through the lens of the Condorcet Jury Theorem. In regard to the first two approaches we explore the implications of sequential influence among courts (past and foreign, respectively). In regard to the Populist approach, we consider the influence of opinion leaders.
     
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  11.  13
    Epistemic Network Injustice.Kai Spiekermann - 2019 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 19 (1):83-101.
    To find out what is in one’s own best interest, it is helpful to ask one’s epistemic peers. However, identifying one’s epistemic peers is not a trivial task. I consider a stylized political setting, an electoral competition of ‘Masses’ and ‘Elites’. To succeed, the Masses need to know which alternative on offer is truly in their interest. To find out, the Masses can pool their privately held information in a pre-election ballot, provided that they can reliably find out with whom (...)
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  12.  64
    Jury Theorems.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2020 - In M. Fricker (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York and Abingdon:
    We give a review and critique of jury theorems from a social-epistemology perspective, covering Condorcet’s (1785) classic theorem and several later refinements and departures. We assess the plausibility of the conclusions and premises featuring in jury theorems and evaluate the potential of such theorems to serve as formal arguments for the ‘wisdom of crowds’. In particular, we argue (i) that there is a fundamental tension between voters’ independence and voters’ competence, hence between the two premises of most jury theorems; (ii) (...)
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  13.  30
    Judgement Aggregation and Distributed Thinking.Kai Spiekermann - 2010 - AI and Society 25 (4):401-412.
    In recent years, judgement aggregation has emerged as an important area of social choice theory. Judgement aggregation is concerned with aggregating sets of individual judgements over logically connected propositions into a set of collective judgements. It has been shown that even seemingly weak conditions on the aggregation function make it impossible to find functions that produce rational collective judgements from all possible rational individual judgements. This implies that the step from individual judgements to collective judgements requires trade-offs between different desiderata, (...)
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  14.  42
    Sort Out Your Neighbourhood: Public Good Games on Dynamic Networks.Kai P. Spiekermann - 2009 - Synthese 168 (2):273 - 294.
    Axelrod (The evolution of cooperation, 1984) and others explain how cooperation can emerge in repeated 2-person prisoner’s dilemmas. But in public good games with anonymous contributions, we expect a breakdown of cooperation because direct reciprocity fails. However, if agents are situated in a social network determining which agents interact, and if they can influence the network, then cooperation can be a viable strategy. Social networks are modelled as graphs. Agents play public good games with their neighbours. After each game, they (...)
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  15.  27
    Translucency, Assortation, and Information Pooling: How Groups Solve Social Dilemmas.Kai Spiekermann - 2007 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 6 (3):285-306.
    In one-shot public goods dilemmas, defection is the strictly dominant strategy. However, agents with cooperative strategies can do well if (1) agents are `translucent' (that is, if agents can fallibly recognize the strategy other agents play ex ante ) and (2) an institutional structure allows `assortation' such that cooperative agents can increase the likelihood of playing with their own kind. The model developed in this article shows that even weak levels of translucency suffice if cooperators are able to pool their (...)
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  16.  10
    Neblo, Michael A. Deliberative Democracy Between Theory and Practice. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2015. Pp. 215. $99.99. [REVIEW]Kai Spiekermann - 2017 - Ethics 127 (4):949-953.
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  17.  13
    Objective and Subjective Compliance: A Norm-Based Explanation of 'Moral Wiggle Room'.Kai Spiekermann & Arne Weiss - 2016 - Games and Economic Behavior 96:170-183.
    We propose a cognitive-dissonance model of norm compliance to identify conditions for selfishly biased information acquisition. The model distinguishes between: (i) objective norm compliers, for whom the right action is a function of the state of the world; (ii) subjective norm compliers, for whom it is a function of their belief. The former seek as much information as possible; the latter acquire only information that lowers, in expected terms, normative demands. The source of ‘moral wiggle room’ is not belief manipulation, (...)
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  18.  23
    Rules, Norms, and Commitment.Fabienne Peter & Kai Spiekermann - 2011 - In Jarvie, Ian & Jesus Zamora-Bonilla (eds.), Handbook of Philosophy of Social Sciences. Sage Publications. pp. 216--232.
  19.  37
    Reply: Clubbish Justice.Kai Spiekermann - 2008 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 7 (4):447-453.
    Replying to my earlier article `Translucency, Assortation, and Information Pooling: How Groups Solve Social Dilemmas', Robert Goodin examines the normative implications of the rule `cooperate with those whose inclusion benefits the larger scheme of cooperation', and gives several reasons for why the conversion of justice into a club good is normatively unappealing. This reply to Goodin discusses whether the rule leads to an exclusion of poor agents, whether a group should hire agents to detect free-riders, and how a group should (...)
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  20.  14
    Explaining Norms, Geoffrey Brennan, Lina Eriksson, Robert E. Goodin and Nicholas Southwood. Oxford University Press, 2013, Vii + 290 Pages. [REVIEW]Kai Spiekermann - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (1):174-181.
  21.  8
    Kelly, Jamie Terence. Framing Democracy: A Behavioral Approach to Democratic Theory. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2012. Pp. 157. $35.00. [REVIEW]Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Ethics 123 (3):568-572.