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  1. Vulnerability in Social Epistemic Networks.Emily Sullivan, Max Sondag, Ignaz Rutter, Wouter Meulemans, Scott Cunningham, Bettina Speckmann & Mark Alfano - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 28 (5):1-23.
    Social epistemologists should be well-equipped to explain and evaluate the growing vulnerabilities associated with filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization in social media. However, almost all social epistemology has been built for social contexts that involve merely a speaker-hearer dyad. Filter bubbles, echo chambers, and group polarization all presuppose much larger and more complex network structures. In this paper, we lay the groundwork for a properly social epistemology that gives the role and structure of networks their due. In particular, (...)
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  • The Curious Case of the Excellent Gossiper.Alkis Kotsonis - 2021 - Philosophia 50 (3):1207-1222.
    My main aim in this paper is to examine whether gossip should be categorized as an epistemically valuable character trait. Gossip satisfies the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions for an acquired character trait to be classified as an intellectual virtue under the responsibilist understanding of the concept of virtue. The excellent gossiper is motivated to acquire epistemic goods through gossiping, reliably successful in acquiring epistemic goods through gossiping, competent at the activity of gossiping and good at judging when, with whom (...)
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  • Enactive Principles for the Ethics of User Interactions on Social Media: How to Overcome Systematic Misunderstandings Through Shared Meaning-Making.Lavinia Marin - 2022 - Topoi 41 (2):425-437.
    This paper proposes three principles for the ethical design of online social environments aiming to minimise the unintended harms caused by users while interacting online, specifically by enhancing the users’ awareness of the moral load of their interactions. Such principles would need to account for the strong mediation of the digital environment and the particular nature of user interactions: disembodied, asynchronous, and ambiguous intent about the target audience. I argue that, by contrast to face to face interactions, additional factors make (...)
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  • The Wisdom-of-Crowds: An Efficient, Philosophically-Validated, Social Epistemological Network Profiling Toolkit.Colin Klein, Marc Cheong, Marinus Ferreira, Emily Sullivan & Mark Alfano - forthcoming - In Hocine Cherifi, Rosario Nunzio Mantegna, Luis M. Rocha, Chantal Cherifi & Salvatore Micciche (eds.), Complex Networks & Their Applications XI: Proceedings of The Eleventh International Conference on Complex Networks and their Applications: COMPLEX NETWORKS 2022 - Volume 1. Springer.
    The epistemic position of an agent often depends on their position in a larger network of other agents who provide them with information. In general, agents are better off if they have diverse and independent sources. Sullivan et al. [19] developed a method for quantitatively characterizing the epistemic position of individuals in a network that takes into account both diversity and independence; and presented a proof-of-concept, closed-source implementation on a small graph derived from Twitter data [19]. This paper reports on (...)
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  • Fake News as Discursive Genre: Between Hermetic Semiosis and Gossip.Anna Maria Lorusso - forthcoming - Social Epistemology:1-13.
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  • A Novel Understanding of the Nature of Epistemic Vice.Alkis Kotsonis - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    My aim in this paper is to present and discuss a novel understanding of the nature of epistemic vice. I highlight that epistemic vice such as excessive curiosity, gossip and excessive inquisitiveness do not obstruct the acquisition, transmission and retention of knowledge and are not characterized by a deficiency of epistemic desires or vicious epistemic motivations. However, I argue that such traits ought to be classified as epistemic vices because the agent who possesses them causes epistemic harm to other agents (...)
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  • Knowledge From Vice: Deeply Social Epistemology.Neil Levy & Mark Alfano - 2020 - Mind 129 (515):887-915.
    In the past two decades, epistemologists have significantly expanded the focus of their field. To the traditional question that has dominated the debate — under what conditions does belief amount to knowledge? — they have added questions about testimony, epistemic virtues and vices, epistemic trust, and more. This broadening of the range of epistemic concern has coincided with an expansion in conceptions of epistemic agency beyond the individualism characteristic of most earlier epistemology. We believe that these developments have not gone (...)
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  • Virtues for Agents in Directed Social Networks.Mark Alfano - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):8423-8442.
    In the age of the Internet, people have increased access to information along multiple dimensions. It might seem that we are on our way to an epistemic utopia in which we spend less time and effort on basic cognitive tasks while devoting more time and effort to complex deliberation. However, though there are many accurate sources on the Internet, they must be sifted from the spammers, concern trolls, practical jokers, conspiracy theorists, counterintelligence sock-puppets, and outright liars who also proliferate online. (...)
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