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Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  14 March 2002

Christian List
Affiliation:
University of Oxford
Philip Pettit
Affiliation:
Australian National University

Abstract

Suppose that the members of a certain group each hold a rational set of judgments on some interconnected questions. And imagine that the group itself now has to form a collective, rational set of judgments on those questions. How should it go about dealing with this task? We argue that the question raised is subject to a difficulty that has recently been noticed in discussion of the doctrinal paradox in jurisprudence. And we show that there is a general impossibility theorem that that difficulty illustrates. Our paper describes this impossibility result and provides an exploration of its significance. The result naturally invites comparison with Kenneth Arrow's famous theorem (Arrow, 1963 and 1984; Sen, 1970) and we elaborate that comparison in a companion paper (List and Pettit, 2002).

Type
Research Article
Copyright
© 2002 Cambridge University Press

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