The logic of social choice (Rohit Parikh)

The Logic and Metaphysics Workshop will meet on December 11th from 4:15-6:15 (NY time) in-person at the Graduate Center (Room 4419) for a talk by Rohit Parikh (CUNY).

Title: The logic of social choice

Abstract: Logic entered social choice theory through Kenneth Arrow who was a student of the logician Alfred Tarski at City College of New York. Arrow’s impossibility result, which was axiomatic in nature, showed that there is no rational procedure to define the popular choice when there are three or more candidates. Arrow’s result led to a rich field. However, subsequent work has concentrated on what happens when voters face a slate of three or more candidates. There is not enough work on a theory of candidate slates themselves. Thus an election with just Donald Trump and Joe Biden is seen as unproblematic since there are only two candidates. The actual quality of the candidates does not matter. We will propose a method which depends on the actual quality of a candidate. Then it becomes a dominant game theoretic strategy for each party to nominate as good a candidate as possible. The goodness of a candidate is defined in terms of a dot product of two vectors: the candidate’s position and the position of a typical voter.