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Choice Group Seminar by Erica Yu (Erasmus Institute) and Adam Wingårdh (LSE Philosophy)

6 December 2023, 4:30 pm6:00 pm



Erica Yu (Erasmus Institute): ‘From Signed Orders to Committee Rankings’

Abstract: Given a set of candidates for a committee tasked with representing a population in collective deliberations and decisions, individuals not only have preferences for some candidates over others, but also preferences for a candidate’s inclusion or exclusion in the committee. In addition, the approvals and disapprovals of candidates can be ranked against each other according to strength. For example, an individual can prefer a candidate Anna to be excluded from the committee more than she prefers Betta to be included in it. I argue that in order to assess the representativeness of different committees for an individual, all three levels of information on the individual’s preferences over candidates have to be taken into account. Drawing on Fishburn’s (1992) signed orders framework, I characterize a ‘signed’ Borda rule using adaptations of the axioms defined by Darmann and Klamler (2019). I then motivate these axioms in terms of the aim of a system of political representation: guaranteeing each individual’s right to have her presence preserved in the deliberations and decisions of the committee.

Erica Yu is a PhD candidate at the Erasmus Institute of Philosophy and Economics (EIPE). She works on deliberation and decision-making on complex and divisive policy issues. The main question that she wants to address is how to balance the diversity of perspectives on these policy issues with the need for agreement and urgent action.

Adam Wingårdh (LSE Philosophy): ‘Why we should do away with harm’

Abstract: Harm is invoked all over the place in moral theorising. Still, relatively little work has been done on how we should think about harm. The most popular, and arguably most plausible, accounts of harm are counterfactual, e.g., the counterfactual comparative account of harm (CCA) and causal-counterfactual accounts of harm. For an event e to harm a person S, it is—according to these accounts—necessary that S is worse off than S would have been had e not obtained. Though some other problems have been identified, I argue that the biggest problem with counterfactual accounts of harm is that they depend on an implausible view about the truth of contingent counterfactuals. For this reason, I argue that counterfactual accounts of harm are unsatisfactory. Given well-appreciated problems with non-counterfactual accounts of harm, my argument supports Bradley’s (2012) contention that harm is a confused concept that we should do away with from serious moral theorising.

Adam Wingårdh is a PHD student at the Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method at LSE. His main research interests are Moral and Political Philosophy.

This event will take place in person on LSE’s campus. However, those unable to attend in person will have the option of taking part online.

To join online just follow these instructions:

Please note that these events are routinely recorded, with the edited footage being made publicly available on our website and YouTube channel. We will only record the audio, the slides and the speaker and will not include the Q&A section. However, any question asked during the talk itself will feature in the final edit.


6 December 2023
4:30 pm – 6:00 pm
Event Category:




LAK 2.06
Lakatos Building
London, WC2A 2AE United Kingdom
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