Condorcet's famous jurytheorem reaches an optimistic conclusion on the correctness of majority decisions, based on two controversial premises about voters: they are competent and vote independently, in a technical sense. I carefully analyse these premises and show that: whether a premise is justi…ed depends on the notion of probability considered; none of the notions renders both premises simultaneously justi…ed. Under the perhaps most interesting notions, the independence assumption should be weakened.
My aim in this paper is to explain what Condorcet’s jurytheorem is, and to examine its central assumptions, its significance to the epistemic theory of democracy and its connection with Rousseau’s theory of general will. In the first part of the paper I will analyze an epistemic theory of democracy and explain how its connection with Condorcet’s jurytheorem is twofold: the theorem is at the same time a contributing historical source, and the model (...) used by the authors to this day. In the second part I will specify the purposes of the theorem itself, and examine its underlying assumptions. Third part will be about an interpretation of Rousseau’s theory, which is given by Grofman and Feld relying on Condorcet’s jurytheorem, and about criticisms of such interpretation. In the fourth, and last, part I will focus on one particular assumption of Condorcet’s theorem, which proves to be especially problematic if we would like to apply the theorem under real-life conditions; namely, the assumption that voters choose between two options only. (shrink)
This paper generalises the classical Condorcet jurytheorem from majority voting over two options to plurality voting over multiple options. The paper further discusses the debate between epistemic and procedural democracy and situates its formal results in that debate. The paper finally compares a number of different social choice procedures for many-option choices in terms of their epistemic merits. An appendix explores the implications of some of the present mathematical results for the question of how probable majority cycles (...) (as in Condorcet's paradox) are in large electorates. (shrink)
Jury theorems are mathematical theorems about the ability of collectives to make correct decisions. Several jury theorems carry the optimistic message that, in suitable circumstances, ‘crowds are wise’: many individuals together (using, for instance, majority voting) tend to make good decisions, outperforming fewer or just one individual. Jury theorems form the technical core of epistemic arguments for democracy, and provide probabilistic tools for reasoning about the epistemic quality of collective decisions. The popularity of jury theorems spans (...) across various disciplines such as economics, political science, philosophy, and computer science. This entry reviews and critically assesses a variety of jury theorems. It first discusses Condorcet's initial jurytheorem, and then progressively introduces jury theorems with more appropriate premises and conclusions. It explains the philosophical foundations, and relates jury theorems to diversity, deliberation, shared evidence, shared perspectives, and other phenomena. It finally connects jury theorems to their historical background and to democratic theory, social epistemology, and social choice theory. (shrink)
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) that the (asymptotic) conclusion that ‘huge groups are infallible’, reached by many jury theorems, is an artifact of unjustified premises; and (iii) that the (nonasymptotic) conclusion that ‘larger groups are more reliable’, also reached by many jury theorems, is not an artifact and should be regarded as the more adequate formal rendition of the ‘wisdom of crowds’. (shrink)
Under the independence and competence assumptions of Condorcet’s classical jury model, the probability of a correct majority decision converges to certainty as the jury size increases, a seemingly unrealistic result. Using Bayesian networks, we argue that the model’s independence assumption requires that the state of the world (guilty or not guilty) is the latest common cause of all jurors’ votes. But often – arguably in all courtroom cases and in many expert panels – the latest such common cause (...) is a shared ‘body of evidence’ observed by the jurors. In the corresponding Bayesian network, the votes are direct descendants not of the state of the world, but of the body of evidence, which in turn is a direct descendant of the state of the world. We develop a model of jury decisions based on this Bayesian network. Our model permits the possibility of misleading evidence, even for a maximally competent observer, which cannot easily be accommodated in the classical model. We prove that (i) the probability of a correct majority verdict converges to the probability that the body of evidence is not misleading, a value typically below 1; (ii) depending on the required threshold of ‘no reasonable doubt’, it may be impossible, even in an arbitrarily large jury, to establish guilt of a defendant ‘beyond any reasonable doubt’. (shrink)
Epistemically immodest agents take their own epistemic standards to be among the most truth-conducive ones available to them. Many philosophers have argued that immodesty is epistemically required of agents, notably because being modest entails a problematic kind of incoherence or self-distrust. In this paper, I argue that modesty is epistemically permitted in some social contexts. I focus on social contexts where agents with limited cognitive capacities cooperate with each other (like juries).
It has been argued that an epistemically rational agent’s evidence is subjectively mediated through some rational epistemic standards, and that there are incompatible but equally rational epistemic standards available to agents. This supports Permissiveness, the view according to which one or multiple fully rational agents are permitted to take distinct incompatible doxastic attitudes towards P (relative to a body of evidence). In this paper, I argue that the above claims entail the existence of a unique and more reliable epistemic standard. (...) My strategy relies on Condorcet’s JuryTheorem. This gives rise to an important problem for those who argue that epistemic standards are permissive, since the reliability criterion is incompatible with such a type of Permissiveness. (shrink)
Recent political developments cast doubt on the wisdom of democratic decision-making. Brexit, the Colombian people's (initial) rejection of peace with the FARC, and the election of Donald Trump suggest that the time is right to explore alternatives to democracy. In this essay, I describe and defend the epistocratic system of government which is, given current theoretical and empirical knowledge, most likely to produce optimal political outcomes—or at least better outcomes than democracy produces. To wit, we should expand the suffrage as (...) wide as possible and weight citizens’ votes in accordance with their competence. As it turns out, the optimal system is closely related to J. S. Mill's plural voting proposal. I also explain how voters’ competences can be precisely determined, without reference to an objective standard of correctness and without generating invidious comparisons between voters. (shrink)
One might think that if the majority of virtue signallers judge that a proposition is true, then there is significant evidence for the truth of that proposition. Given the Condorcet JuryTheorem, individual virtue signallers need not be very reliable for the majority judgment to be very likely to be correct. And so, even people who are skeptical of the judgments of individual virtue signallers should think that if a majority of virtue signallers judge that a proposition is (...) true, then that provides significant evidence that that proposition is true. We argue that this is mistaken. Various empirical studies converge on the following point: humans are very conformist in the contexts in which virtue signalling occurs. And stereotypical virtue signallers are even more conformist in such contexts. So we should be skeptical of the claim that virtue signallers are sufficiently independent for the Condorcet JuryTheorem to apply. We do not seek to decisively rule out the relevant application of the Condorcet JuryTheorem. But we do show that careful consideration of the available evidence should make us skeptical of that application. Consequently, a defense of virtue signalling would need to engage with these findings and show that despite our strong tendencies for conformism, our judgements are sufficiently independent for the Condorcet JuryTheorem to apply. This suggests new directions for the debate about the epistemology of virtue signalling. (shrink)
(This is for the Cambridge Handbook of Analytic Philosophy, edited by Marcus Rossberg) In this handbook entry, I survey the different ways in which formal mathematical methods have been applied to philosophical questions throughout the history of analytic philosophy. I consider: formalization in symbolic logic, with examples such as Aquinas’ third way and Anselm’s ontological argument; Bayesian confirmation theory, with examples such as the fine-tuning argument for God and the paradox of the ravens; foundations of mathematics, with examples such as (...) Hilbert’s programme and Gödel’s incompleteness theorems; social choice theory, with examples such as Condorcet’s paradox and Arrow’s theorem; ‘how possibly’ results, with examples such as Condorcet’s jurytheorem and recent work on intersectionality theory; and the application of advanced mathematics in philosophy, with examples such as accuracy-first epistemology. (shrink)
Can experimental philosophy help us answer central questions about the nature of moral responsibility, such as the question of whether moral responsibility is compatible with determinism? Specifically, can folk judgments in line with a particular answer to that question provide support for that answer. Based on reasoning familiar from Condorcet’s JuryTheorem, such support could be had if individual judges track the truth of the matter independently and with some modest reliability: such reliability quickly aggregates as the number (...) of judges goes up. In this chapter, however, I argue, partly based on empirical evidence, that although non-specialist judgments might on average be more likely than not to get things right, their individual likelihoods fail to aggregate because they do not track truth with sufficient independence. (shrink)
The contemporary theory of epistemic democracy often draws on the Condorcet JuryTheorem 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 jurytheorem: under defensible premises, ‘large crowds are fallible but better than small groups’. This (...)theorem rehabilitates the importance of deliberation and education, which appear inessential in the classical jury framework. Our theorem is related to Ladha's (1993) seminal jurytheorem for interchangeable (‘indistinguishable’) voters based on de Finetti's Theorem. We also prove a more general and simpler such jurytheorem. (shrink)
In response to recent work on the aggregation of individual judgments on logically connected propositions into collective judgments, it is often asked whether judgment aggregation is a special case of Arrowian preference aggregation. We argue for the converse claim. After proving two impossibility theorems on judgment aggregation (using "systematicity" and "independence" conditions, respectively), we construct an embedding of preference aggregation into judgment aggregation and prove Arrow’s theorem (stated for strict preferences) as a corollary of our second result. Although we (...) thereby provide a new proof of Arrow’s theorem, our main aim is to identify the analogue of Arrow’s theorem in judgment aggregation, to clarify the relation between judgment and preference aggregation, and to illustrate the generality of the judgment aggregation model. JEL Classi…cation: D70, D71.. (shrink)
There is a substantial class of collective decision problems whose successful solution requires interdependence among decision makers at the agenda-setting stage and independence at the stage of choice. We define this class of problems and describe and apply a search-and-decision mechanism theoretically modeled in the context of honeybees and identified in earlier empirical work in biology. The honeybees’ mechanism has useful implications for mechanism design in human institutions, including courts, legislatures, executive appointments, research and development in firms, and basic research (...) in the sciences. Our paper offers a fresh perspective on the idea of “biomimicry” in institutional design and raises the possibility of comparative institutional analysis across species. (shrink)
In his 2010 paper “Philosophical Naturalism and Intuitional Methodology”, Alvin I. Goldman invokes the Condorcet JuryTheorem in order to defend the reliability of intuitions. The present note argues that the original conditions of the theorem are all unrealistic when analysed in connection to the case of intuitions. Alternative conditions are discussed.
How can democratic governments be relied upon to achieve adequate political knowledge when they turn over their authority to those of no epistemic distinction whatsoever? This deep and longstanding concern is one that any proponent of epistemic conceptions of democracy must take seriously. While Condorcetian responses have recently attracted substantial interest, they are largely undermined by a fundamental neglect of agenda-setting. I argue that the apparent intractability of the problem of epistemic adequacy in democracy stems in large part from a (...) failure to appreciate the social character of political knowledge. A social point of view brings into focus a number of vital factors that bear on our understanding of democratic epistemology and our assessment of its prospects: the essential role of inclusive deliberation, the public's agenda-setting function, institutional provisions for policy feedback, the independence of expert communities, and the knowledge-pooling powers of markets. (shrink)
Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...) deliberated more versus less effectively. They are not merely a byproduct of increased substantive agreement. Our results both refine and support the idea that deliberation, by increasing proximity to single-peakedness, provides an escape from the problem of majority cycling. (shrink)
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 (...) factors such as commonly perceived evidence. In a general theorem, we identify causal conditions guaranteeing each kind of opinion independence. These results have implications for whether and how ‘wisdom of crowds’ arguments are possible, and how truth-conducive institutions can be designed. (shrink)
Can we design a perfect democratic decision procedure? Condorcet famously observed that majority rule, our paradigmatic democratic procedure, has some desirable properties, but sometimes produces inconsistent outcomes. Revisiting Condorcet’s insights in light of recent work on the aggregation of judgments, I show that there is a conflict between three initially plausible requirements of democracy: “robustness to pluralism”, “basic majoritarianism”, and “collective rationality”. For all but the simplest collective decision problems, no decision procedure meets these three requirements at once; at most (...) two can be met together. This “democratic trilemma” raises the question of which requirement to give up. Since different answers correspond to different views about what matters most in a democracy, the trilemma suggests a map of the “logical space” in which different conceptions of democracy are located. It also sharpens our thinking about other impossibility problems of social choice and how to avoid them, by capturing a core structure many of these problems have in common. More broadly, it raises the idea of “cartography of logical space” in relation to contested political concepts. (shrink)
A proof of Fermat’s last theorem is demonstrated. It is very brief, simple, elementary, and absolutely arithmetical. The necessary premises for the proof are only: the three definitive properties of the relation of equality (identity, symmetry, and transitivity), modus tollens, axiom of induction, the proof of Fermat’s last theorem in the case of.
The aim of this paper is to comprehensively question the validity of the standard way of interpreting Chaitin's famous incompleteness theorem, which says that for every formalized theory of arithmetic there is a finite constant c such that the theory in question cannot prove any particular number to have Kolmogorov complexity larger than c. The received interpretation of theorem claims that the limiting constant is determined by the complexity of the theory itself, which is assumed to be good (...) measure of the strength of the theory. I exhibit certain strong counterexamples and establish conclusively that the received view is false. Moreover, I show that the limiting constants provided by the theorem do not in any way reflect the power of formalized theories, but that the values of these constants are actually determined by the chosen coding of Turing machines, and are thus quite accidental. (shrink)
The determinism-free will debate is perhaps as old as philosophy itself and has been engaged in from a great variety of points of view including those of scientific, theological, and logical character. This chapter focuses on two arguments from logic. First, there is an argument in support of determinism that dates back to Aristotle, if not farther. It rests on acceptance of the Law of Excluded Middle, according to which every proposition is either true or false, no matter whether the (...) proposition is about the past, present or future. In particular, the argument goes, whatever one does or does not do in the future is determined in the present by the truth or falsity of the corresponding proposition. The second argument coming from logic is much more modern and appeals to Gödel's incompleteness theorems to make the case against determinism and in favour of free will, insofar as that applies to the mathematical potentialities of human beings. The claim more precisely is that as a consequence of the incompleteness theorems, those potentialities cannot be exactly circumscribed by the output of any computing machine even allowing unlimited time and space for its work. The chapter concludes with some new considerations that may be in favour of a partial mechanist account of the mathematical mind. (shrink)
Una de las bifurcaciones en el debate contemporáneo sobre la legitimidad de la democracia explora si ésta ofrece ventajas distintivamente epistémicas frente a otras alternativas políticas. Quienes defienden la tesis de la democracia epistémica afirman que la democracia es instrumentalmente superior o equiparable a otras formas de organización política en lo que concierne a la obtención de varios bienes epistémicos. En este ensayo presento dos (grupos de) argumentos a favor de la democracia epistémica, que se inspiran en resultados formales: el (...) teorema del jurado de Condorcet [TJC] y el teorema ‘diversidad supera habilidad’ [DSH]. Pese a su gran atractivo, sostengo que estos argumentos son incapaces de respaldar dicha tesis: no brindan razones para considerar que la democracia es epistémicamente superior (o equiparable) a algunas alternativas políticas no democráticas. En su lugar, sugiero que, sin requerir un cambio radical en nuestras formas de organización política, la epistemología democrática –el estudio de las ‘circunstancias epistémicas de la democracia’– puede ofrecer valiosas lecciones de sobre cómo optimizar, en nuestra situación, instituciones y procedimientos de toma de decisiones. Para ello, primero distingo entre varias maneras de evaluar procedimientos de toma de decisión colectiva. Argumento que, al considerarlos como formas de organización política, un factor importante en la evaluación de tales procedimientos involucra asuntos fácticos sobre los cuales puede aspirarse a obtener o promover algunos bienes epistémicos. En este contexto, presento algunos de los argumentos más importantes a favor de la democracia epistémica. A continuación, reúno algunas de las objeciones sobre la aplicabilidad de dichos argumentos y ofrezco razones independientes para dudar de que ofrezcan apoyo a la tesis de la democracia epistémica. Finalmente, defiendo que la epistemología democrática puede desempeñar un papel significativo en la legitimación de formas de organización colectiva que podrían denominarse ‘democráticas’. (shrink)
This paper critically engages Philip Mirowki's essay, "The scientific dimensions of social knowledge and their distant echoes in 20th-century American philosophy of science." It argues that although the cold war context of anti-democratic elitism best suited for making decisions about engaging in nuclear war may seem to be politically and ideologically motivated, in fact we need to carefully consider the arguments underlying the new rational choice based political philosophies of the post-WWII era typified by Arrow's impossibility theorem. A distrust (...) of democratic decision-making principles may be developed by social scientists whose leanings may be toward the left or right side of the spectrum of political practices. (shrink)
Juries, committees and experts panels commonly appraise things of one kind or another on the basis of grades awarded by several people. When everybody's grading thresholds are known to be the same, the results sometimes can be counted on to reflect the graders’ opinion. Otherwise, they often cannot. Under certain conditions, Arrow's ‘impossibility’ theorem entails that judgements reached by aggregating grades do not reliably track any collective sense of better and worse at all. These claims are made by adapting (...) the Arrow–Sen framework for social choice to study grading in groups. (shrink)
The ``doctrinal paradox'' or ``discursive dilemma'' shows that propositionwise majority voting over the judgments held by multiple individuals on some interconnected propositions can lead to inconsistent collective judgments on these propositions. List and Pettit (2002) have proved that this paradox illustrates a more general impossibility theorem showing that there exists no aggregation procedure that generally produces consistent collective judgments and satisfies certain minimal conditions. Although the paradox and the theorem concern the aggregation of judgments rather than preferences, they (...) invite comparison with two established results on the aggregation of preferences: the Condorcet paradox and Arrow's impossibility theorem. We may ask whether the new impossibility theorem is a special case of Arrow's theorem, or whether there are interesting disanalogies between the two results. In this paper, we compare the two theorems, and show that they are not straightforward corollaries of each other. We further suggest that, while the framework of preference aggregation can be mapped into the framework of judgment aggregation, there exists no obvious reverse mapping. Finally, we address one particular minimal condition that is used in both theorems – an independence condition – and suggest that this condition points towards a unifying property underlying both impossibility results. (shrink)
Classical interpretations of Goedels formal reasoning, and of his conclusions, implicitly imply that mathematical languages are essentially incomplete, in the sense that the truth of some arithmetical propositions of any formal mathematical language, under any interpretation, is, both, non-algorithmic, and essentially unverifiable. However, a language of general, scientific, discourse, which intends to mathematically express, and unambiguously communicate, intuitive concepts that correspond to scientific investigations, cannot allow its mathematical propositions to be interpreted ambiguously. Such a language must, therefore, define mathematical truth (...) verifiably. We consider a constructive interpretation of classical, Tarskian, truth, and of Goedel's reasoning, under which any formal system of Peano Arithmetic---classically accepted as the foundation of all our mathematical Languages---is verifiably complete in the above sense. We show how some paradoxical concepts of Quantum mechanics can, then, be expressed, and interpreted, naturally under a constructive definition of mathematical truth. (shrink)
This paper provides an introductory review of the theory of judgment aggregation. It introduces the paradoxes of majority voting that originally motivated the field, explains several key results on the impossibility of propositionwise judgment aggregation, presents a pedagogical proof of one of those results, discusses escape routes from the impossibility and relates judgment aggregation to some other salient aggregation problems, such as preference aggregation, abstract aggregation and probability aggregation. The present illustrative rather than exhaustive review is intended to give readers (...) new to the field of judgment aggregation a sense of this rapidly growing research area. (shrink)
In this short survey article, I discuss Bell’s theorem and some strategies that attempt to avoid the conclusion of non-locality. I focus on two that intersect with the philosophy of probability: (1) quantum probabilities and (2) superdeterminism. The issues they raised not only apply to a wide class of no-go theorems about quantum mechanics but are also of general philosophical interest.
Epistemic justifications for democracy have been offered in terms of two different aspects of decision-making: voting and deliberation, or ‘votes’ and ‘talk.’ The Condorcet JuryTheorem is appealed to as a justification in terms votes, and the Hong-Page “Diversity Trumps Ability” result is appealed to as a justification in terms of deliberation. Both of these, however, are most plausibly construed as models of direct democracy, with full and direct participation across the population. In this paper, we explore how (...) these results hold up if we vary the model so as to reflect the more familiar democratic structure of a representative hierarchy. We first recount extant analytic work that shows that representation inevitably weakens the voting results of the Condorcet JuryTheorem, but we question the ability of that result to shine light on real representative systems. We then show that, when we move from votes to talk, as modeled in Hong-Page, representation holds its own and even has a slight edge. (shrink)
Epistemic justifications for democracy have been offered in terms of two different aspects of decision-making: voting and deliberation, or 'votes' and 'talk.' The Condorcet JuryTheorem is appealed to as a justification in terms of votes, and the Hong-Page "Diversity Trumps Ability" result is appealed to as a justification in terms of deliberation. Both of these, however, are most plausibly construed as models of direct democracy, with full and direct participation across the population. In this paper, we explore (...) how these results hold up if we vary the model so as to reflect the more familiar democratic structure of a representative hierarchy. We first recount extant analytic work that shows that representation inevitably weakens the voting results of the Condorcet JuryTheorem, but we question the ability of the result to shine light on real representative systems. We then show that, when we move from votes to talk, as modeled in Hong-Page, representation holds its own and even has a slight edge. (shrink)
In normative political theory, it is widely accepted that democracy cannot be reduced to voting alone, but that it requires deliberation. In formal social choice theory, by contrast, the study of democracy has focused primarily on the aggregation of individual opinions into collective decisions, typically through voting. While the literature on deliberation has an optimistic flavour, the literature on social choice is more mixed. It is centred around several paradoxes and impossibility results identifying conflicts between different intuitively plausible desiderata. In (...) recent years, there has been a growing dialogue between the two literatures. This paper discusses the connections between them. Important insights are that (i) deliberation can complement aggregation and open up an escape route from some of its negative results; and (ii) the formal models of social choice theory can shed light on some aspects of deliberation, such as the nature of deliberation-induced opinion change. (shrink)
In the context of EPR-Bohm type experiments and spin detections confined to spacelike hypersurfaces, a local, deterministic and realistic model within a Friedmann-Robertson-Walker spacetime with a constant spatial curvature (S^3 ) is presented that describes simultaneous measurements of the spins of two fermions emerging in a singlet state from the decay of a spinless boson. Exact agreement with the probabilistic predictions of quantum theory is achieved in the model without data rejection, remote contextuality, superdeterminism or backward causation. A singularity-free Clifford-algebraic (...) representation of S^3 with vanishing spatial curvature and non-vanishing torsion is then employed to transform the model in a more elegant form. Several event-by-event numerical simulations of the model are presented, which confirm our analytical results with the accuracy of 4 parts in 10^4 . Possible implications of our results for practical applications such as quantum security protocols and quantum computing are briefly discussed. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that computer simulations can provide valuable insights into the performance of voting methods on different collective decision problems. This could improve institutional design, even when there is no general theoretical result to support the optimality of a voting method. To support our claim, we first describe a decision problem that has not received much theoretical attention in the literature. We outline different voting methods to address that collective decision problem. Under certain criteria of assessment akin (...) to extensions of the Condorcet JuryTheorem, we run simulations for the methods using MATLAB, in order to compare their performance under various conditions. We consider and respond to concerns about the use of simulations in the assessment of voting procedures for policymaking. (shrink)
Bell’s theorem has fascinated physicists and philosophers since his 1964 paper, which was written in response to the 1935 paper of Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen. Bell’s theorem and its many extensions have led to the claim that quantum mechanics and by inference nature herself are nonlocal in the sense that a measurement on a system by an observer at one location has an immediate effect on a distant entangled system. Einstein was repulsed by such “spooky action at a (...) distance” and was led to question whether quantum mechanics could provide a complete description of physical reality. In this paper I argue that quantum mechanics does not require spooky action at a distance of any kind and yet it is entirely reasonable to question the assumption that quantum mechanics can provide a complete description of physical reality. The magic of entangled quantum states has little to do with entanglement and everything to do with superposition, a property of all quantum systems and a foundational tenet of quantum mechanics. (shrink)
In this study I analyse the performance of a democratic decision-making rule: the weighted majority rule. It assigns to each voter a number of votes that is proportional to her stakes in the decision. It has been shown that, for collective decisions with two options, the weighted majority rule in combination with self-interested voters maximises the common good when the latter is understood in terms of either the sum-total or prioritarian sum of the voters’ well-being. The main result of my (...) study is that this argument for the weighted majority rule — that it maximises the common good — can be improved along the following three main lines. (1) The argument can be adapted to other criteria of the common good, such as sufficientarian, maximin, leximin or non-welfarist criteria. I propose a generic argument for the collective optimality of the weighted majority rule that works for all of these criteria. (2) The assumption of self-interested voters can be relaxed. First, common-interest voters can be accommodated. Second, even if voters are less than fully competent in judging their self-interest or the common interest, the weighted majority rule is weakly collectively optimal, that is, it almost certainly maximises the common good given large numbers of voters. Third, even for smaller groups of voters, the weighted majority rule still has some attractive features. (3) The scope of the argument can be extended to decisions with more than two options. I state the conditions under which the weighted majority rule maximises the common good even in multi-option contexts. I also analyse the possibility and the detrimental effects of strategic voting. Furthermore, I argue that self-interested voters have reason to accept the weighted majority rule. (shrink)
Frente a problemas de decisión colectiva de cierta complejidad, distintos métodos de votación pueden considerarse igualmente democráticos. Ante esta situación, argumento que es posible investigar cuáles de esos métodos producen mejores resultados epistémicos sobre asuntos fácticos. Comienzo ilustrando la relación entre democracia y métodos de votación con un sencillo ejemplo. Muestro cómo el uso de modelos idealizados permite descubrir algunas propiedades de los métodos de votación; varios de estos descubrimientos muestran que, frente a problemas de cierta complejidad, no hay una (...) respuesta clara acerca de cuál es el resultado de una elección democrática. Frente a esto, sugiero que deberíamos tomar en cuenta un rasgo epistémico instrumental de varios métodos de votación: su capacidad para generar respuestas correctas ante varias situaciones. Esta intuición ofrece lecciones importantes para el diseño de instituciones electorales. (shrink)
It has been known for a few years that no more than Pi-1-1 comprehension is needed for the proof of "Frege's Theorem". One can at least imagine a view that would regard Pi-1-1 comprehension axioms as logical truths but deny that status to any that are more complex—a view that would, in particular, deny that full second-order logic deserves the name. Such a view would serve the purposes of neo-logicists. It is, in fact, no part of my view that, (...) say, Delta-3-1 comprehension axioms are not logical truths. What I am going to suggest, however, is that there is a special case to be made on behalf of Pi-1-1 comprehension. Making the case involves investigating extensions of first-order logic that do not rely upon the presence of second-order quantifiers. A formal system for so-called "ancestral logic" is developed, and it is then extended to yield what I call "Arché logic". (shrink)
In "Microaggressions: Strong Claims, Inadequate Evidence," Scott Lillenfeld argues that, despite a decade of scholarship, the Microaggression Research Program (MRP) continues to suffer serious analytic and evidentiary problems. After walking through these shortcomings, he provides 18 suggestions to help improve the reliability and utility of the MRP. In "Microaggressions and 'Evidence': Experimental or Experiential Reality?" Derald Wing Sue responds. This chapter provides background on the origin of the MRP, and referees the dispute between Lillenfeld and Sue about its contemporary status.
In §8 of Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics (RFM), Appendix 3 Wittgenstein imagines what conclusions would have to be drawn if the Gödel formula P or ¬P would be derivable in PM. In this case, he says, one has to conclude that the interpretation of P as “P is unprovable” must be given up. This “notorious paragraph” has heated up a debate on whether the point Wittgenstein has to make is one of “great philosophical interest” revealing “remarkable insight” in (...) Gödel’s proof, as Floyd and Putnam suggest (Floyd (2000), Floyd (2001)), or whether this remark reveals Wittgenstein’s misunderstanding of Gödel’s proof as Rodych and Steiner argued for recently (Rodych (1999, 2002, 2003), Steiner (2001)). In the following the arguments of both interpretations will be sketched and some deficiencies will be identified. Afterwards a detailed reconstruction of Wittgenstein’s argument will be offered. It will be seen that Wittgenstein’s argumentation is meant to be a rejection of Gödel’s proof but that it cannot satisfy this pretension. (shrink)
In this article, a possible generalization of the Löb’s theorem is considered. Main result is: let κ be an inaccessible cardinal, then ¬Con( ZFC +∃κ) .
A Husserlian phenomenological approach to logic treats concepts in terms of their experiential meaning rather than in terms of reference, sets of individuals, and sentences. The present article applies such an approach in turn to the reasoning operative in various paradoxes: the simple Liar, the complex Liar paradoxes, the Grelling-type paradoxes, and Gödel’s Theorem. It finds that in each case a meaningless statement, one generated by circular definition, is treated as if were meaningful, and consequently as either true or (...) false, although in fact it is neither. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the sentence used to express the meaningless statement is ambiguous, and may also be used to express a meaningful statement. The paradoxes result from a failure to distinguish between the two meanings the sentence may have. (shrink)
We generalize and extend the class of Sahlqvist formulae in arbitrary polyadic modal languages, to the class of so called inductive formulae. To introduce them we use a representation of modal polyadic languages in a combinatorial style and thus, in particular, develop what we believe to be a better syntactic approach to elementary canonical formulae altogether. By generalizing the method of minimal valuations à la Sahlqvist–van Benthem and the topological approach of Sambin and Vaccaro we prove that all inductive formulae (...) are elementary canonical and thus extend Sahlqvist’s theorem over them. In particular, we give a simple example of an inductive formula which is not frame-equivalent to any Sahlqvist formula. Then, after a deeper analysis of the inductive formulae as set-theoretic operators in descriptive and Kripke frames, we establish a somewhat stronger model-theoretic characterization of these formulae in terms of a suitable equivalence to syntactically simpler formulae in the extension of the language with reversive modalities. Lastly, we study and characterize the elementary canonical formulae in reversive languages with nominals, where the relevant notion of persistence is with respect to discrete frames. (shrink)
I argue that Composition as Identity blocks the plural version of Cantor's Theorem, and that therefore the plural version of Cantor's Theorem can no longer be uncritically appealed to. As an example, I show how this result blocks a recent argument by Hawthorne and Uzquiano.
The following essay reconsiders the ontological and logical issues around Frege’s Basic Law (V). If focuses less on Russell’s Paradox, as most treatments of Frege’s Grundgesetze der Arithmetik (GGA)1 do, but rather on the relation between Frege’s Basic Law (V) and Cantor’s Theorem (CT). So for the most part the inconsistency of Naïve Comprehension (in the context of standard Second Order Logic) will not concern us, but rather the ontological issues central to the conflict between (BLV) and (CT). These (...) ontological issues are interesting in their own right. And if and only if in case ontological considerations make a strong case for something like (BLV) we have to trouble us with inconsistency and paraconsistency. These ontological issues also lead to a renewed methodological reflection what to assume or recognize as an axiom. (shrink)
Riker (1982) famously argued that Arrow’s impossibility theorem undermined the logical foundations of “populism”, the view that in a democracy, laws and policies ought to express “the will of the people”. In response, his critics have questioned the use of Arrow’s theorem on the grounds that not all configurations of preferences are likely to occur in practice; the critics allege, in particular, that majority preference cycles, whose possibility the theorem exploits, rarely happen. In this essay, I argue (...) that the critics’ rejoinder to Riker misses the mark even if its factual claim about preferences is correct: Arrow’s theorem and related results threaten the populist’s principle of democratic legitimacy even if majority preference cycles never occur. In this particular context, the assumption of an unrestricted domain is justified irrespective of the preferences citizens are likely to have. (shrink)
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