The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (forthcoming)

Kai Spiekermann
London School of Economics
Franz Dietrich
Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
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 jury theorem, 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.
Keywords jury theorems  Condorcet  independence and competence  deliberation  wisdom of crowds
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Epistemic Democracy with Defensible Premises.Franz Dietrich & Kai Spiekermann - 2013 - Economics and Philosophy 29 (1):87--120.
Jury Theorems for Peer Review.Marcus Arvan, Liam Kofi Bright & Remco Heesen - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
The Persuasiveness of Democratic Majorities.Robert E. Goodin & David Estlund - 2004 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 3 (2):131-142.
A Note on the Condorcet Jury Theorem for Couples.Raphael Thiele - 2017 - Theory and Decision 83 (3):355-364.
Waiving Jury Deliberation.Andrei Poama - 2020 - Social Theory and Practice 46 (1):181-204.


Added to PP index

Total views
44 ( #255,326 of 2,499,668 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
23 ( #37,608 of 2,499,668 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes