The Dennes Room

Philosophy 290-1

Fall 2019

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-1 Voting and Democracy Holliday Tu 2-4 Moses 234

Seminar on logical and normative analysis of voting methods. Tentative outline (subject to change depending on participants’ interests):

Part 1: The Landscape of Voting Methods

Exploration of alternative voting methods and axioms used to evaluate them. Readings include selections from Dummett’s Voting Procedures and Principles of Electoral Reform.

Part 2: Strategic Voting

Discussion of proofs and normative significance of results showing that every reasonable voting method is susceptible to strategic voting (e.g., the Gibbard-Satterthwaite Theorem, the Duggan-Schwartz Theorem, and more). Recent work on potential “barriers” to strategic voting (e.g., Faliszweski and Procaccia, “AI’s War on Manipulation: Are We Winning?”; Holliday and Pacuit, “Strategic Voting Under Uncertainty About the Voting Method”).

Part 3: Implications for Democracy

The debate about the relevance of impossibility results in social choice theory to democratic theory: Riker’s Liberalism against Populism; Mackie’s rejoinder to Riker in Democracy Defended; and Patty and Penn’s critique of Riker and Mackie in Social Choice and Legitimacy.

No previous familiarity with social choice or voting theory will be assumed.