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Collective Wisdom
Principles and Mechanisms


Hélène Landemore, Emile Servan-Schreiber, Gloria Origgi, Scott Page, Lu Hong, Daniel Andler, John Ferejohn, Josiah Ober, Jon Elster, Philippe Urfalino, Christian List, David Estlund, Gerry Mackie, Bryan Caplan, Adrian Vermeule, Dan Sperber, Hugo Mercier
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  • Date Published: May 2014
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107630277

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About the Authors
  • James Madison wrote, 'Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob'. The contributors to this volume discuss and for the most part challenge this claim by considering conditions under which many minds can be wiser than one. With backgrounds in economics, cognitive science, political science, law and history, the authors consider information markets, the internet, jury debates, democratic deliberation and the use of diversity as mechanisms for improving collective decisions. At the same time, they consider voter irrationality and paradoxes of aggregation as possibly undermining the wisdom of groups. Implicitly or explicitly, the volume also offers guidance and warnings to institutional designers.

    • Discusses a central issue of collective decisions: when are many minds wiser than one?
    • Interdisciplinary in approach and broad in scope, yet very coherent as a whole and across contributions
    • High-quality, non-technical and jargon-free
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2014
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107630277
    • length: 420 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • contains: 17 b/w illus. 8 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Collective wisdom: old and new Hélène Landemore
    2. Prediction markets: trading uncertainty for collective wisdom Emile Servan-Schreiber
    3. Designing wisdom through the web: the passion of ranking Gloria Origgi
    4. Some microfoundations of collective wisdom Scott Page and Lu Hong
    5. What has collective wisdom to do with wisdom? Daniel Andler
    6. Legislation, planning, and deliberation John Ferejohn
    7. Epistemic democracy in classical Athens: sophistication, diversity, and innovation Josiah Ober
    8. The optimal design of a constituent assembly Jon Elster
    9. Sanior pars and major pars in the contemporary aeropagus: medicine evaluation committees in France and the United States Philippe Urfalino
    10. Collective wisdom: lessons from the theory of judgment aggregation Christian List
    11. Democracy counts: should rulers be numerous? David Estlund
    12. Democratic reason: the mechanisms of collective intelligence in politics Hélène Landemore
    13. Rational ignorance and beyond Gerry Mackie
    14. The myth of the rational voter and political theory Bryan Caplan
    15. Collective wisdom and institutional design Adrian Vermeule
    16. Reasoning as a social competence Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercier
    17. Conclusion Jon Elster.

  • Editors

    Hélène Landemore, Yale University, Connecticut
    Hélène Landemore is a graduate from the Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris, Sciences Po, Paris, and Harvard University (PhD, 2008). After holding postdoctoral positions at the Collège de France in Paris, Brown University, and MIT, she is now an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Yale University. She is the author of Hume: probabilité et choix raisonnable (2004). Her work has appeared in the Journal of Moral Philosophy, Raison Publique, Synthese, Critical Review and Political Psychology.

    Jon Elster, Columbia University, New York and Collège de France, Paris
    Jon Elster has been a professor at the Collège de France since 2005. Previously, he was a professor at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Academia Europaea, the Norwegian Academy of Science and a Corresponding Fellow of the British Academy. He holds honorary doctorates from the universities of Valencia, Stockholm, Trondheim, Bogotá, Torcuata di Tella and Louvain-la-Neuve. Elster is the author of 23 monographs, which have been translated into 18 languages. Most recently, these include L'Irrationalité; Alexis de Tocqueville: The First Social Scientist; Le Désintéressement; Explaining Social Behavior; Agir contre soi; Closing the Books; and Alchemies of the Mind.


    Hélène Landemore, Emile Servan-Schreiber, Gloria Origgi, Scott Page, Lu Hong, Daniel Andler, John Ferejohn, Josiah Ober, Jon Elster, Philippe Urfalino, Christian List, David Estlund, Gerry Mackie, Bryan Caplan, Adrian Vermeule, Dan Sperber, Hugo Mercier

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