Who Is Afraid of Judgment Aggregation?
There are two different fundamental conceptions of the task of social aggregation: interest aggregation and judgment aggregation. While the former aims at the fair and efficient trade-off of personal interests, the latter aims the best resolution of disagreement. Both are possible interpretations of the standard preference aggregation and preference-based voting problems. This note makes two broad points. First, the judgment aggregation conception is not yet well understood and remains undertheorized. Second, the difference between the two conceptions matters; it is a difference that makes a difference. To substantiate the first point, we argue that judgment aggregation as resolution of disagreement cannot be subsumed under statistical aggregation in the manner of Condorcet’s jury theorem, and sketch a more specific articulation as “reflexive consensus under arguable disagreement”. To substantiate the second point, we illustrate the difference in the context of two important voting rules, the Kemeny rule and Majority Judgment.
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