[EM] Arrow's Condorcet Criterion

Russ Paielli 6049awj02 at sneakemail.com
Mon May 9 06:36:35 PDT 2005


A while back I obtained a copy of the classic book Social Choice and 
Individual Values by Kenneth J. Arrow (Second Edition, Yale University 
Press, Cowles Foundation monograph 12, copyright 1951, 1963). Arrow won 
the Nobel Prize for this work. Here is what he writes about the 
Condorcet Criterion (bottom of page 94):

"As Granger and Black both observed, Condorcet has really two different 
approaches. In the one most in line with subsequent developments, as 
well as with Borda's work, the chief contribution has been what might be 
termed the Condorcet criterion, that a candidate who receives a majority 
as against each other candidate should be elected. This implicitly 
accepts the view of what I have termed the independence of irrelevant 
alternatives (see text, pp. 26-28). It was in this context that 
Condorcet discovered that pairwise majority comparisons might lead to 
intransitivity and hence to an indeterminacy in the social choice."

Based on this wording, it appears that Arrow himself may have been the 
first to actually coin the phrase "Condorcet criterion."

The book itself presents advanced formal mathematics, including 
theorems, lemmas, corollaries, consequences, and conditions. Yet Arrow's 
definition of the Condorcet criterion is very informal: "that a 
candidate who receives a majority as against each other candidate should 
be elected."

Did you get that, Mike? He *assumes* a ranked ballot, just as I 
suggested, and which you tried to ridicule me for. And where is the 
gobbldy-gook about sincere preferences, Mike? Or the notion that the CC 
should apply to all methods, ordinal or not?

I realize that you are a legend in your own mind, Mike, and you probably 
consider Kenneth Arrow a simpleton, but the difference between a 
renowned scholar and a rude, pedantic amateur should now be clear to 
everyone else at least.

I'm sick and tired of the garbage you obsessively fill my inbox with, 
and I'm willing to bet I'm not the only one. I wish you'd take your 
annoying capitalized name and "retire" for good, MIKE OSSIPOFF.

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