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Durham University

Centre for Humanities Engaging Science and Society (CHESS)


Colleagues are very welcome at the following events hosted by CHESS and K4U (ERC project) this academic year

CHESS Seminar Series 2018/19: Dr Ioannis Votsis (New College of the Humanities, London)

2nd May 2019, 14:00 to 16:00, Seminar Room, Institute of Advanced Study

Informed Voting

One consequence of the rise of large-scale societies has been the division of labour. Such a division allows people to specialise in certain areas by training and developing skills and ideas over long periods. This in turn improves efficiency. Those who specialise at doing something, do it faster, better and/or with less energy. They also make more informed decisions about their respective domains. Indeed, we expect such people to be well-informed. We can draw on this expectation to formulate the following norm: To increase the chances of effectively discharging domain-specific duties, one ought to be (as) well-informed in that domain (as practically possible). This norm, which we can aptly call the 'informed-ness norm', is not, and arguably should not, be adhered to with respect to every domain or decision. In this talk, I ask the question whether the informed-ness norm should be adhered to in the domain of political voting. I make the case that it should and consider two voting systems, John Stuart Mill's plural voting and my own, that attempt to incorporate some sort of adherence to the informedness norm.

I then proceed to evaluate each system's pros and cons. I conclude the talk with some remarks about what needs to be in place before we adopt voting systems such as the aforementioned.

All welcome and refreshments provided – please contact the Centre Administrator at to confirm attendance

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Department of Philosophy
Durham University
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Tel: 0191 334 6552
Fax: 0191 334 6551