General representation of epistemically optimal procedures

Social Choice and Welfare 2 (26):263-283 (2006)
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Abstract

Assuming that votes are independent, the epistemically optimal procedure in a binary collective choice problem is known to be a weighted supermajority rule with weights given by personal log-likelihood-ratios. It is shown here that an analogous result holds in a much more general model. Firstly, the result follows from a more basic principle than expected-utility maximisation, namely from an axiom (Epistemic Monotonicity) which requires neither utilities nor prior probabilities of the ‘correctness’ of alternatives. Secondly, a person’s input need not be a vote for an alternative, it may be any type of input, for instance a subjective degree of belief or probability of the correctness of one of the alternatives. The case of a profile of subjective degrees of belief is particularly appealing, since here no parameters such as competence parameters need to be known.

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2009-01-28

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Author's Profile

Franz Dietrich
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique

References found in this work

A Subjectivist’s Guide to Objective Chance.David K. Lewis - 1980 - In Richard C. Jeffrey (ed.), Studies in Inductive Logic and Probability, Volume II. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 263-293.
Belief and the Will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 1984 - Journal of Philosophy 81 (5):235-256.
Belief and the Will.Bas C. van Fraassen - 2010 - In Antony Eagle (ed.), Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings. Routledge. pp. 235-256.
Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem.Christian List & Robert E. Goodin - 2001 - Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (3):277–306.

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