Christian List

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Christian List FBA

Professor of Philosophy and Decision Theory

& Co-Director, Munich Center for Mathematical Philosophy

LMU Munich


Visiting Professor

Department of Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method

London School of Economics

I work at the intersection of philosophy, economics, and political science, with a particular focus on individual and collective decision-making and the nature of intentional agency. I have long-standing interests in social choice theory and the theory of democracy.

A growing part of my work addresses metaphysical questions, e.g., about free will, causation, probability, and the relationship between “micro” and “macro” levels in the human and social sciences.

My book, titled "Why free will is real", was published by Harvard University Press in 2019 (look inside).

For interviews on free will, see, e.g., Nautilus, Scientific American Blog, and Philosophy Bites. For a series of blogs, see here (Brains Blog), for a short informal article, see here (Boston Review), and for a debate with critics, see here (The Philosopher). An earlier scholarly paper is available here.

For an interview on decision theory, see here (to appear in a volume of Conversations on Rational Choice).

Although my interests may seem eclectic, the different strands of my work complement each other. One can often make progress on some issues by developing connections between different fields. 

In Boston Review

Italian version

Below is a list of recent papers. At the bottom, there is a list of some earlier representative papers.

Click here for all my papers, here for an overview by projects, and here for books or edited collections.

Most recent papers

Dynamically rational judgment aggregation (with F. Dietrich)

The many-worlds theory of consciousness, an exploratory paper

Free will: real or illusion? (A debate with G. D. Caruso and C. J. Clark) The Philosopher 108(1), 2020

The relation between degrees of belief and binary beliefs: A general impossibility theorem (with F. Dietrich), invited contribution to a CUP volume on The Lottery Paradox, edited by Igor Douven

Dynamic and stochastic systems as a framework for metaphysics and the philosophy of science (with M. Pivato), Synthese, online early

What normative facts should political theory be about? Philosophy of science meets political liberalism (with L. Valentini), Oxford Studies in Political Philosophy 6: 185-220, 2020

Levels: descriptive, explanatory, and ontological, Nous 53(4): 852-883, 2019

What's wrong with the consequence argument: In defence of compatibilist libertarianism, Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 119(3): 253-274, 2019

Democratic Deliberation and Social Choice: A Review, Oxford Handbook of Deliberative Democracy, 2018

From Degrees of Belief to Binary Beliefs: Lessons from Judgment-Aggregation Theory (with F. Dietrich), Journal of Philosophy 115(5): 225-270, 2018

What is it like to be a group agent? Nous 52(2): 295-319, 2018

What matters and how it matters: A choice-theoretic representation of moral theories (with F. Dietrich), The Philosophical Review 126(4): 421-479, 2017

Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalized (with F. Dietrich), a pair of companion papers:

Does the exclusion argument put any pressure on dualism? (with D. Stoljar), Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95(1): 96-108, 2017 [official journal link]

Other recent papers

On free will

Free Will, Determinism, and the Possibility of Doing Otherwise, Nous 48(1): 156-178, 2014 (see here or here for the original 2011 versions) 

My brain made me do it: The exclusion argument against free will, and what’s wrong with it (with P. Menzies), in H. Beebee, C. Hitchcock, and H. Price (eds.), Making a Difference, Oxford (Oxford University Press), 2017

Two Intuitions about Free Will: Alternative Possibilities and Intentional Endorsement (with W. Rabinowicz), Philosophical Perspectives 28: 155-172, 2014

On rationality, reasons, preferences, and individual choices

Belief revision generalized: A joint characterization of Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules (with F. Dietrich and R. Bradley), Journal of Economic Theory 162: 352-371, 2016

Reason-based choice and context-dependence: An explanatory framework (with F. Dietrich), Economics and Philosophy 32(2): 175-229, 2016

Mentalism versus behaviourism in economics: a philosophy-of-science perspective (with F. Dietrich), Economics and Philosophy 32(2): 249-281, 2016

A reason-based theory of rational choice (with F. Dietrich), Nous 47(1): 104-134, 2013

Where do preferences come from? (with F. Dietrich), International Journal of Game Theory 42(3): 613-637, 2013

Reasons for (prior) belief in Bayesian epistemology (with F. Dietrich), Synthese 19(5): 787-808, 2013

On causation,  non-reductive physicalism, and chance

Emergent Chance (with M. Pivato), The Philosophical Review 124(1): 119-152, 2015

Non-Reductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle (with P. Menzies), Journal of Philosophy CVI(9): 475-502, 2009

On political philosophy

Freedom as independence (with L. Valentini), Ethics 126(4): 1043-1074, 2016

The Methodology of Political Theory (with L. Valentini), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, 2016

Can there be a global demos? An agency-based approach (with M. Koenig-Archibugi), Philosophy and Public Affairs 38(1): 76-110, 2010

On democracy and deliberation

The Condorcet jury theorem and voter-specific truth (with K. Spiekermann), in H. Kornblith and B. McLaughlin (eds.), Alvin Goldman and his Critics, Oxford (Blackwell), 2016

Independence and Interdependence: Lessons from the Hive (with A. Vermeule), Rationality and Society 26: 170-207, 2014

Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence from Deliberative Polls (with R. C. Luskin, J. S. Fishkin and I. McLean), Journal of Politics 75(1): 80-95, 2013

The Logical Space of Democracy, Philosophy and Public Affairs 39(3): 262-297, 2011

Group Communication and the Transformation of Judgments: An Impossibility Result, Journal of Political Philosophy 19(1): 1-27, 2011

On group agency and social ontology

Three kinds of collective attitudes, Erkenntnis 79(9,Suppl.): 1601-1622, 2014

Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation (with K. Spiekermann), American Political Science Review 107(4): 629-643

On judgment aggregation and social choice

Probabilistic opinion pooling [an introductory review] (with F. Dietrich), Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, 2016

Social Choice Theory, Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Winter 2013 Edition

The theory of judgment aggregation: An introductory review, Synthese 187(1): 179-207, 2012

The aggregation of propositional attitudes: towards a general theory (with F. Dietrich), Oxford Studies in Epistemology 3, 2010

Majority voting on restricted domains (with F. Dietrich), Journal of Economic Theory 145(2): 512-543, 2010

Some earlier representative papers

Group decisions in humans and animals: a survey (with L. Conradt), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364: 719-742, 2009

Independence and interdependence in collective decision making: an agent-based model of nest-site choice by honeybee swarms (with C. Elsholtz and T. D. Seeley), Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B 364: 755-762, 2009

Strategy-proof judgment aggregation (with F. Dietrich), Economics and Philosophy 23(3): 269-300, 2007

Arrow's theorem in judgment aggregation (with F. Dietrich), Social Choice and Welfare 29(1): 19-33, 2007

A Conditional Defense of Plurality Rule: Generalizing May's Theorem in a Restricted Informational Environment (with R. E. Goodin), American Journal of Political Science 50(4): 940-949, 2006

The Discursive Dilemma and Public Reason, Ethics 116(2): 362-402, 2006

A Model of Path-Dependence in Decisions over Multiple Propositions, American Political Science Review 98(3): 495-513, 2004

Social Choice Theory and Deliberative Democracy: A Reconciliation (with J. S. Dryzek), British Journal of Political Science 33(1): 1-28, 2003

Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result (with P. Pettit), Economics and Philosophy 18: 89-110, 2002 (companion paper in Synthese 2004)

Two Concepts of Agreement (revised version), The Good Society 11(1): 72-79, 2002

Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem (with R. E. Goodin), Journal of Political Philosophy 9(3): 277-306, 2001


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