Social Choice and Welfare

, Volume 29, Issue 4, pp 609–632

Reaching a consensus

Original Paper


This paper explores some aspects of the relation between aggregation and deliberation as ways of achieving a consensus amongst a group of indviduals on some set of issues. I argue firstly that the framing of an aggregation problem itself generates information about the judgements of others that individuals are rationally obliged to take into account. And secondly that the constraints which aggregation theories typically place on consensual or collective judgements need not be consistent with the outcomes of rational deliberative processes driven by individuals’ attempts to update on this information. The paper focuses on the particular case of allocation problems, for which there are established results both in aggregation theory and deliberation theory, to make this claim.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific MethodLondon School of EconomicsLondonUK

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