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Truth in Voting and Fair Representation

Date and Time: 
Wednesday, May 29, 2019. 04:30 PM - 06:00 PM
Meeting Location: 
Humanities Center Boardroom
Workshop: 
Ethics and Politics, Ancient and Modern
Meeting Description: 

All EPAM sessions are pre-read. We will begin with a brief summary of the paper and comments by a graduate student, followed by a response from Professor Colin Guthrie King. Afterward, the floor will be opened for questions.

In this paper Professor King seeks to defend a conception of truth for the relationship between inputs and outputs in voting systems, and attempts to identify a pragmatic criterion for measuring the truth of a voting system. The conception of truth he defends for voting systems is that of fidelity, which he construes as a symmetry relation between voting inputs (ballots cast) and voting outputs (as expressed by percentage of seats in a legislative body). In the second part of the paper, I explicate the notion of fidelity in terms of fairness, and apply this notion to the outcomes of electoral procedures in modern representative democracy: representation.

Professor Colin Guthrie King studied philosophy, astronomy, and German at Colgate University, then Greek philology, political theory and philosophy in Freiburg, Bonn, Lille, and Berlin. He completed his PhD at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in 2009. He teaches topics ranging from ancient philosophy to logic and contemporary analytic metaphysics at Providence College, including theories of voting, where he also supervises several independent student research projects. Some of his publications include "Aristotle after Austin," published in Antiquorum Philosophia in 2015, and in 2013, "False ἔνδοξα and fallacious argumentation," in Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy.

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