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Democratic ReasonPolitics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many$
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Hélène Landemore

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780691155654

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691155654.001.0001

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The Maze and the Masses

The Maze and the Masses

(p.1) Chapter One The Maze and the Masses
Democratic Reason

Hélène Landemore

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that collective intelligence offers an attractive solution to the problem of the average citizen's ignorance and irrationality. It first illustrates this point by presenting the metaphor of the maze, inspired by Descartes' thought experiment in the Discourse on Method. Next, the chapter sets out the definition of “democracy,” which gains a certain meaning and relevance within the context of this book—as, primarily, an inclusive collective decision procedure, that is, a procedure for collective decisions characterized by the fact that it is inclusive, more or less directly, of all the members of the group for whom decisions need to be made. The chapter then considers the domain of democratic reason and politics, before turning to the concept of democratic reason as the collective intelligence of the people. Finally, the chapter closes with a brief overview of the following chapters.

Keywords:   maze, collective intelligence, democratic reason, collective decision, democratic reason, collective intelligence, democracy

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