Challenging the majority rule in matters of truth
Keywords:competence, evidence, social epistemology, testimony, trust in experts, two-expert problem
The majority rule has caught much attention in recent debate about the aggregation of judgments. But its role in finding the truth is limited. A majority of expert judgments is not necessarily authoritative, even if all experts are equally competent, if they make their judgments independently of each other, and if all the judgments are based on the same source of (good) evidence. In this paper I demonstrate this limitation by presenting a simple counterexample and a related general result. I pave the way for this argument by introducing a Bayesian model of evidence and expert judgment in order to give a precise account of the basic problem.