Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1845709
 
 

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Democratic Reason: The Mechanisms of Collective Intelligence in Politics


Helene E. Landemore


Yale University

April 1, 2011

COLLECTIVE WISDOM: PRINCIPLES AND MECHANISMS, Hélène Landemore and Jon Elster, eds., Cambridge University Press, Spring 2012

Abstract:     
This paper argues that democracy can be seen as a way to channel “democratic reason,” or the collective political intelligence of the many. The paper hypothesizes that two main democratic mechanisms - the practice of inclusive deliberation (in its direct and indirect versions) and the institution of majority rule with universal suffrage - combine their epistemic properties to maximize the chances that the group pick the “better” political answer within a given context and a set of values. The paper further argues that under the conditions of a liberal society, characterized among other things by sufficient cognitive diversity, these two mechanisms give democracy an epistemic edge over versions of the rule of the few.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 63

Keywords: Democratic Reason, Collective Intelligence, Epistemic Democracy, Majority Rule, Deliberation, Cognitive Diversity, Democracy

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Date posted: May 20, 2011 ; Last revised: June 3, 2011

Suggested Citation

Landemore, Helene E., Democratic Reason: The Mechanisms of Collective Intelligence in Politics (April 1, 2011). COLLECTIVE WISDOM: PRINCIPLES AND MECHANISMS, Hélène Landemore and Jon Elster, eds., Cambridge University Press, Spring 2012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1845709

Contact Information

Helene E. Landemore (Contact Author)
Yale University ( email )
New Haven, CT 06520
United States
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