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Models and Reality: the Curios Case of the Absent Abstention

Listed author(s):
  • Dan S. Felsenthal

    (University of Haifa, Department of Political Science, Haifa, Israel)

  • MoshÚ Machover

    (Department of Philosophy, King's Collge, Strand, London, UK)

We discuss two inter-related puzzling features of the literature on a priori voting power. First, the mathematical model used in virtually all this literature does not recognize abstention as an option distinct from both a 'yes' and a 'no' vote. Second, reallife decision rules of voting bodies - in particular the US legislature and the UN Security Council -á are misrepresented as though they did not allow abstention as a tertium quid. We suggest that these misrepresentations may be examples of what philosophers of science call 'theory-laden observation'.

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Article provided by Institute of SocioEconomics in its journal Homo Oeconomicus.

Volume (Year): 19 (2002)
Issue (Month): ()
Pages: 297-310

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Handle: RePEc:hom:homoec:v:19:y:2002:p:297-310
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