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Group deliberation and the transformation of judgments: an impossibility result

  • Christian List
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    While a large social-choice-theoretic literature discusses the aggregation of individual judgments into collective ones, there is relatively little formal work on the transformation of individual judgments in group deliberation. I develop a model of judgment transformation and prove a baseline impossibility result: Any judgment transformation function satisfying some initially plausible condition is the identity function, under which no opinion change occurs. I identify escape routes from this impossibility result and argue that successful group deliberation must be ‘holistic’: individuals cannot generally revise their judgments on a proposition based on judgments on that proposition alone but must take other propositions into account too. I discuss the significance of these findings for democratic theory.

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    File URL: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/19273/
    File Function: Open access version.
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    Paper provided by London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library in its series LSE Research Online Documents on Economics with number 19273.

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    Length: 38 pages
    Date of creation: Mar 2007
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:19273
    Contact details of provider: Postal: LSE Library Portugal Street London, WC2A 2HD, U.K.
    Phone: +44 (020) 7405 7686
    Web page: http://www.lse.ac.uk/

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    1. Rubinstein, Ariel & Fishburn, Peter C., 1986. "Algebraic aggregation theory," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 38(1), pages 63-77, February.
    2. G Rdenfors, Peter, 2006. "A Representation Theorem For Voting With Logical Consequences," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 22(02), pages 181-190, July.
    3. List, Christian & Pettit, Philip, 2002. "Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result," Economics and Philosophy, Cambridge University Press, vol. 18(01), pages 89-110, April.
    4. Richard Bradley, 2007. "Reaching a consensus," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer, vol. 29(4), pages 609-632, December.
    5. Wilson, Robert, 1975. "On the theory of aggregation," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 89-99, February.
    6. Dietrich, Franz, 2006. "Judgment aggregation: (im)possibility theorems," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 126(1), pages 286-298, January.
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