Democratic Reason: Politics Collective Intelligence and the Rule of the Many free read â 106

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Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many free read â 106 è [BOOKS] ✬ Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many Author Join or create book clubs – Individual decision making cIndividual decision making can often be wrong due Politics Collective ePUB #180 to misinformation impulses or biases Collective decision making on the other hand can be surprisingly accurate In Democratic Reason Hélène Lande demonstrates that the very factors behind the superiority of collective decision making add up to a strong case for democracy She shows that the processes and procedures of democratic decision making form a cognitive system that ensures that decisions taken by the many arelikely to be. Hélène Lande's Democratic Reason is an important book in a time when democratic cynicism and illiberal attitudes are waxing Largely avoiding fundamental uestions of democratic legitimacy she focuses on the epistemic dimensions of democracy arguing that any reasonable case for democracy must rest at least in part on its epistemic credentials That is it's ability to get certain uestions and problems rightLande draws heavily on the work of Lu Hong and Scott Page who show that diversity enhances problem solving and prediction because diverse groups leverage different perspectives with different insights heuristics or just ways of seeing problems Democracies of wide or universal suffrage are necessarily diverse than monarchiesdictatorships or oligarchiesepistocracies Importantly this dynamic works even when group members aren't intellectual heavyweights as Hong's and Page's diversity trumps ability theorem showsLande also effectively responds to the problem of rational irrationality posed by Bryan Caplan She concedes that democracy is fully consistent with assigning certain especially technocratic uestions to independent appointed authorities eg the Federal Reserve or Supreme Court But beyond this she argues that Caplan and similar economists conflate uestions of economics with political uestions with economic dimensions Hong Page style reasoning about diverse perspectives apply Economists for all their obvious expertise reason from perspectives that are limited in various ways some straight from the axioms eg rational utility maximizing individualsThese arguments are the strongest in the book One complaint I have is that some of the other arguments seem like Lande is just throwing everything at the wall to see what sticks Especially the section defending the relevance of the the Condorcet Jury Theorem is weak and unnecessary given its dubious conditions 50% likelihood of individuals getting problems right their independence from one another and the limited applicability to binary choicesOne of the most interesting ideas in the book is also unfortunately not developed but ostensibly saved for a future work the idea of epistemic democracy evolving through time and learning from past mistakes Constitutional safeguards independent apolitical technocratic bodies and technological changes to the democratic process all may be fruitfully understood as democratic learning I hope Lande explores this in a future workFinally as an awkward side note I also found the chapter on the genealogy of epistemic democracy to be especially edifying

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Right than decisions taken by the few Democracy as a form of government is therefore valuable not Democratic Reason PDFEPUBonly because it is legitimate and just but also because it is smart Lande considers how the argument plays out with respect to two main mechanisms of democratic politics inclusive deliberation and majority rule In deliberative settings the truth tracking properties of deliberation are enhancedby inclusiveness than by individual competence Lande explores this idea in the contexts of repre. Even if you are skeptical that Lande's premises are true the argument follows nicely though it's a bit of an enthymeme Really nice review of some of the political science that relates to political philosophy and vice versa including Hong and Page's Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem The Condorcet Jury Theorem the Miracle of Aggregation and work by prominent political thinkers A nice synthesis and an unusual perspective on democracy The concern with justice which is normally the focal point of a defense of democracy is marginal it only arises insofar as Lande's argument is concerned with whether or not the democratic majoritarian system 'knows' the best outcome of a vote

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Democratic Reason Politics Collective Intelligence and the Rule of the ManySentative democracy and the selection of representatives She also discusses several models for the wisdom of crowds channeled by majority rule examining the trade offs between inclusiveness and individual competence in voting When inclusive deliberation Reason Politics Collective PDFEPUB #193 and majority rule are combined they beat less inclusive methods in which one person or a small group decide Democratic Reason thus establishes the superiority of democracy as a way of making decisions for the common goo. This book follows the recent trend in democratic theory termed epistemic democracy in a novel way Rather than rely on liberal philosophy or an analogy with science it begins with results in mathematics decision theory psychology and cognitive science It also mentions an evolutionary basis for the superiority of group decision makingLande traces different nuances of epistemic arguments for democracy from Aristotle to Mill to Dewey to Hayek then sets out on her own path resting on the Condorcet Jury Theorem the Law of Large Numbers and recent results in decision theory such as the Diversity Prediction Theorem At its core it is a sophisticated application of crowd wisdom theory into the political realma href titleDemocratic Reason on GoodreadsDemocratic Reasona assumes that individuals bring good faith and on average better than random intelligence to their evaluation of the proper course of action or predictions about the future She cites empirical work not only on the wisdom of the many but also the averageness of the few such as Phillip Tetlock's Expert Political Judgment Tetlock like Kahneman and Tversky before him used extensive data to show that political and business elites are about as accurate as laypersons in predicting outcomes of political and strategic decisionsThe positive side of the argument for inclusive deliberation relies on Lu Hong and Scott Page's work to the effect that diversity trumps average ability when it comes to group problem solving and decision making To that end Lande recommends deliberation in assemblies selected by lot followed by voting because large diverse groups make better decisions Her ideal democratic mechanism would begin with deliberation to bring out information and points of views followed by a vote taken among options two at a time She sets aside the issue of a stop procedure for the deliberation phase While most deliberative democrats would recommend some version of consensus here Lande in my view correctly leaves this for empirical work It may very well be that stoppage at a point of having a satisfactory number of proposals is rarely an issue in deliberation; but it is not part of her theoretical argumentIndividual fallibility and bias she says citing for example Hugo Mercier's work may actually be an evolutionary adaption that helps us make better group decisions If each person presents her best possible argument to a particular point of view even blind to her own fallacies and biases while others have the natural ability to find fault with her arguments all important information will emerge before the collective tribunalIn other words evolutionary psychology could be telling us that we were built to parley when it comes to social decisions We make horrible decisions see Kahneman and Tversky as individuals and surprisingly good ones in groups Surowiecki Page at least when the group is free of systemic bias Diversity is essential not only because it brings in different points of views heuristics and information but also because it allows individual errors to cancelWhat first appeared to be a missing link between deliberation and voting turned out not entirely crucial Lande like many others assumes it is possible to end a deliberation with yesno binary votes between possible political choices She states that current parliamentary procedure already functions in this way and that even if the order of voting could affect outcomes the agenda could be set in a random order so that all options are given eual chances Some might find it unconvincing; some might find it a detail to be worked out laterAn issue that most would find minor but that in my own opinion ought to be further explored by political scientists is majority vote She like most theorists assumes that in so far as voting is concerned we must go with majority vote because any other way of counting amounts to minority rule Granted consensus would be next to impossible in any but tiny groups but the choice is not binary The option of supermajority should be given fair considerationLande makes it clear that data are needed on what actually happens in deliberation both in current representative assemblies and among non experts in other contexts If nothing else Democratic Reason begins to undo the distrust of the masses that has plagued political science since the time of James Madison While remaining humble about its own claims and leaving many uestions open for evidence this book shifts the burden of proof in my non expert opinion with respect to uality of political decisions onto those who oppose democracyIt also makes perhaps a greater achievement; it beats rational choice theory usually employed in political science to bemoan the meaningless of voting or belittle the ignorance of the average voter at its own game Democratic Reason like much recent literature on collective intelligence argues that pre deliberation ignorance of the average citizen is irrelevant when thinking about systemic properties Democracy works absent systemic bias because what happens at the group level overcomes the shortcomings of individuals This is after all why we or less universally work in groups and teams in the first placeYet another interesting aspect of Lande's book like epistemic democracy in general is side stepping the communitarian versus liberal individualist conundrum Democratic Reason proceeds neither from aggregation of preferences nor an assumption of a mythical general will at leas as often interpreted It is founded on something entirely different general wisdom Epistemic democrats whether Joshua Cohen David Estlund Robert Goodin or Hélène Lande do not normally claim they are inventing anything new but rather trace their roots as far back as Aristotle Machiavelli Rousseau Mill Dewey Pierce or HayekThe book tables the issues of fairness that democracy is inherently desirable independent of outcomes as well as good faith and corruptibility But in so far as the tasks it sets out to do provide a purely epistemic justification for democracy over aristocracy and monarchy it thoroughly succeedsIn defense of epistemic democrats they do not claim that only correctness of decisions however measured is important but that correctness must be part of why democracy in the first place Democracy they would say like anything one comes to love has than one thing going for New or simply a return to ancient wisdom it is exciting work Democratic Reason is an especially readable manifestation of epistemic democratic theory