Collective Wisdom. Principles and Mechanisms

  Edited by: Hélène Landemore, and Jon Elster   Cambridge University Press septembre 2012   418 pages £60.00                 James Madison wrote, 'Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates, every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob'. The contributors to this volume discuss and for the most part challenge this claim by considering conditions under which many minds can be wiser than one. With backgrounds in economics, cognitive science, political science, law and history, the authors consider information markets, the internet, jury debates, democratic deliberation and the use of diversity as mechanisms for improving collective decisions. At the same time, they consider voter irrationality and paradoxes of aggregation as possibly undermining the wisdom of groups. Implicitly or explicitly, the volume also offers guidance and warnings to institutional designers.  

Table of Contents

  1. Hélène Landemore, « Collective wisdom: old and new » 2. Emile Servan-Schreiber, « Prediction markets: trading uncertainty for collective wisdom » 3. Gloria Origgi, « Designing wisdom through the web: the passion of ranking » 4. Scott Page and Lu Hong, « Some microfoundations of collective wisdom » 5. Daniel Andler, « What has collective wisdom to do with wisdom? » 6. John Ferejohn, « Legislation, planning, and deliberation » 7. Josiah Ober, « Epistemic democracy in classical Athens: sophistication, diversity, and innovation » 8. Jon Elster, « The optimal design of a constituent assembly » 9. Philippe Urfalino, « Sanior pars and major pars in the contemporary aeropagus: medicine evaluation committees in France and the United States » 10. Christian List, « Collective wisdom: lessons from the theory of judgment aggregation » 11. David Estlund, « Democracy counts: should rulers be numerous? » 12. Hélène Landemore, « Democratic reason: the mechanisms of collective intelligence in politics » 13. Gerry Mackie, « Rational ignorance and beyond » 14. Bryan Caplan, « The myth of the rational voter and political theory » 15. Adrian Vermeule, « Collective wisdom and institutional design » 16. Dan Sperber and Hugo Mercier, « Reasoning as a social competence » 17. Jon Elster, Conclusion