On the role of language in social choice theory
- 114 Downloads
Axiomatic characterization results in social choice theory are usually compared either regarding the normative plausibility or regarding the logical strength of the axioms involved. Here, instead, we propose to compare axiomatizations according to the language used for expressing the axioms. In order to carry out such a comparison, we suggest a formalist approach to axiomatization results which uses a restricted formal logical language to express axioms. Axiomatic characterization results in social choice theory then turn into definability results of formal logic. The advantages of this approach include the possibility of non-axiomatizability results, a distinction between absolute and relative axiomatizations, and the possibility to ask how rich a language needs to be to express certain axioms. We argue for formal minimalism, i.e., for favoring axiomatizations in the weakest language possible.
KeywordsSocial choice theory Logic Judgment aggregation
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- Arrow K. (1951). Social choice and individual values. Yale University Press.Google Scholar
- Enderton, H. (1972). A mathematical introduction to logic. Academic Press.Google Scholar
- Hintikka, J. (1996). The principles of mathematics revisited. Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
- List, C. http://personal.lse.ac.uk/LIST/doctrinalparadox.htm.Google Scholar
- List C., Pettit P. (2002). Aggregating sets of judgments: An impossibility result. Economics and Philosophy 18, 89–110Google Scholar
- Maskin, E. (1995). Majority rule, social welfare functions, and game forms. In K. Basu, P. Pattanaik, & K. Suzumura (Eds.), Choice, welfare, and development (pp. 100–109). Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
- Pauly, M. (2007) Axiomatizing collective judgment sets in a minimal logical language. Synthese, 158(2), 233-250.Google Scholar