Re: Why plurality is not "wrong"

From: Jeff Almeida <spud_at_spudzeppelin_dot_com>
Date: Sat Apr 17 2004 - 16:03:13 CDT

Also Sprach David Mertz:
>Actually, I'm not sure if you mean
>'aberrant' or 'abhorrent', but neither is an OVC position.

hehe I meant 'aberrant' -- it's what I get for writing a reply at 1 am.

>FWIW, I've done enough graduate math that I understand the Condercet
>criteria with no particular effort. And I also happen to have a Ph.D.
>in political philosophy and lots of publications in ethics, so I'm not
>wholly unfamiliar with the notion of "right outcome." I just don't
>find any of these allegedly technical analyses of "right result" to be
>particularly compelling (or even interesting). I know enough to know
>the question is strictly political.

Phrases like "allegedly technical analyses" lead me to question your

>I -can- "get" the intuition that electing someone actively disliked by
>60% of the electorate is not such a good thing. And I can -equally-
>"get" the intuition that a candidate who is enthusiastically liked by
>more people than is any other single candidate should serve in the
>office. Are the likes or the dislikes among the electorate more
>important? I don't know: (informed) intuitions vary. I'm not going to
>buy into some positivistic, technocratic mystification that pretends
>there is some non-political answer to this question.

And therein lies the rub: "positivistic, technocratic mystification"
suggests you reject the efforts of Riker and his intellectual heirs to
inject science into "political science." Are you a disciple of the
"Harvard school" by any chance? As a mathematician who came to the
discipline by studying Saari, it's abundantly clear to me why we would
disagree on the relative merits of such a problem; a former co-worker
whose thesis advisor was Riker himself pointed out to me that the poli-sci
mainstream has been trying to discredit Riker's work for decades.

jeff :)

Jeff D. "Spud (Zeppelin)" Almeida
Corinth, TX
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:10 2004

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