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  1. Signaling in an Unknown World.Rafael Ventura - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-21.
    This paper proposes a sender-receiver model to explain two large-scale patterns observed in natural languages: Zipf’s inverse power law relating the frequency of word use and word rank, and the negative correlation between the frequency of word use and rate of lexical change. Computer simulations show that the model recreates Zipf’s inverse power law and the negative correlation between signal frequency and rate of change, provided that agents balance the rates with which they invent new signals and forget old ones. (...)
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  • Quantitative Methods in Philosophy of Language.Rafael Ventura - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (7).
    In this paper, I survey and defend the use of quantitative methods in philosophy of language. Quantitative methods in philosophy of language include a wide variety of methods, ranging from model‐based techniques (computer simulations and mathematical models) to data‐driven approaches (experimental philosophy and corpus‐based studies). After offering a few case studies of these methodologies in action, I single out some debates in philosophy of language that are especially well served by their use. These are cases in which quantitative methods increase (...)
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  • How Realistic Is the Modeling of Epistemic Democracy?Miljan Vasic´ - 2022 - Critical Review: A Journal of Politics and Society 34 (2):279-298.
    ABSTRACT The “diversity trumps ability” model is often interpreted as a mechanism supporting epistemic democracy. However, as a variety of empirical and mathematical studies have shown, if we attempt to test the realism of the model, it turns out that it points as much toward epistocracy as democracy. This might appear to leave epistocracy with an advantage, since its rationale is not usually thought to rely on the DTA but on the obvious relevance of expertise to making complex decisions. Yet (...)
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  • Pro-Diversity Beliefs and the Diverse Person’s Burden.Daniel Steel & Karoline Paier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-23.
    Pro-diversity beliefs hold that greater diversity leads to better results in academia, business, politics and a variety of other contexts. This paper explores the possibility that pro-diversity beliefs can generate unfair expectations that marginalized people produce distinctive bonuses, a phenomenon we refer to as the “diverse person’s burden”. We suggest that a normic conception of diversity, according to which non-diversity entails social privilege, together with empirical research on psychological entitlement suggests an explanation of how the diverse person’s burden can arise (...)
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  • Information Elaboration and Epistemic Effects of Diversity.Daniel Steel, Sina Fazelpour, Bianca Crewe & Kinley Gillette - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1287-1307.
    We suggest that philosophical accounts of epistemic effects of diversity have given insufficient attention to the relationship between demographic diversity and information elaboration, the process whereby knowledge dispersed in a group is elicited and examined. We propose an analysis of IE that clarifies hypotheses proposed in the empirical literature and their relationship to philosophical accounts of diversity effects. Philosophical accounts have largely overlooked the possibility that demographic diversity may improve group performance by enhancing IE, and sometimes fail to explore the (...)
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  • A Closer Look at the Business Case for Diversity: The Tangled Web of Equity and Epistemic Benefits.Daniel Steel & Naseeb Bolduc - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (5):418-443.
    This article examines the business case for diversity, according to which diversity should be promoted because diverse groups outperform nondiverse groups. Philosophers who defend BCD usually...
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  • Diversity, Not Randomness, Trumps Ability.Daniel J. Singer - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):178-191.
    A number of formal models, including a highly influential model from Hong and Page, purport to show that functionally diverse groups often beat groups of individually high-performing agents in solving problems. Thompson argues that in Hong and Page’s model, that the diverse groups are created by a random process explains their success, not the diversity. Here, I defend the diversity interpretation of the Hong and Page result. The failure of Thompson’s argument shows that to understand the value of functional diversity, (...)
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  • Let’s Not Agree to Disagree: The Role of Strategic Disagreement in Science.Carlos Santana - 2019 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 25):6159-6177.
    Supposedly, stubbornness on the part of scientists—an unwillingness to change one’s position on a scientific issue even in the face of countervailing evidence—helps efficiently divide scientific labor. Maintaining disagreement is important because it keeps scientists pursuing a diversity of leads rather than all working on the most promising, and stubbornness helps preserve this disagreement. Planck’s observation that “Science progresses one funeral at a time” might therefore be an insight into epistemically beneficial stubbornness on the part of researchers. In conversation with (...)
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  • Mathematical Models and Robustness Analysis in Epistemic Democracy: A Systematic Review of Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem Models.Ryota Sakai - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (3):195-214.
    This article contributes to the revision of the procedure of robustness analysis of mathematical models in epistemic democracy using the systematic review method. It identifies the drawbacks of robustness analysis in epistemic democracy in terms of sample universality and inference from samples with the same results. To exemplify the effectiveness of systematic review, this article conducted a pilot review of diversity trumps ability theorem models, which are mathematical models of deliberation often cited by epistemic democrats. A review of nine models (...)
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  • The Diversity-Ability Trade-Off in Scientific Problem Solving.Samuli Reijula & Jaakko Kuorikoski - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (5):894-905.
    According to the diversity-beats-ability theorem, groups of diverse problem solvers can outperform groups of high-ability problem solvers. We argue that the model introduced by Lu Hong and Scott Page is inadequate for exploring the trade-off between diversity and ability. This is because the model employs an impoverished implementation of the problem-solving task. We present a new version of the model that captures the role of ‘ability’ in a meaningful way, and we use it to explore the trade-offs between diversity and (...)
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  • Hidden Figures: Epistemic Costs and Benefits of Detecting (Invisible) Diversity in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    Demographic diversity might often be present in a group without group members noticing it. What are the epistemic effects if they do? Several philosophers and social scientists have recently argued that when individuals detect demographic diversity in their group, this can result in epistemic benefits even if that diversity doesn’t involve cognitive differences. Here I critically discuss research advocating this proposal, introduce a distinction between two types of detection of demographic diversity, and apply this distinction to the theorizing on diversity (...)
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  • Argumentation, Cognition, and the Epistemic Benefits of Cognitive Diversity.Renne Pesonen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (4):1-17.
    The social epistemology of science would benefit from paying more attention to the nature of argumentative exchanges. Argumentation is not only a cognitive activity but a collaborative social activity whose functioning needs to be understood from a psychological and communicative perspective. Thus far, social and organizational psychology has been used to discuss how social diversity affects group deliberation by changing the mindset of the participants. Argumentative exchanges have comparable effects, but they depend on cognitive diversity and emerge through critical interaction. (...)
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  • Diversity, Trust, and Conformity: A Simulation Study.Sina Fazelpour & Daniel Steel - 2022 - Philosophy of Science 89 (2):209-231.
    Previous simulation models have found positive effects of cognitive diversity on group performance, but have not explored effects of diversity in demographics (e.g., gender, ethnicity). In this paper, we present an agent-based model that captures two empirically supported hypotheses about how demographic diversity can improve group performance. The results of our simulations suggest that, even when social identities are not associated with distinctive task-related cognitive resources, demographic diversity can, in certain circumstances, benefit collective performance by counteracting two types of conformity (...)
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  • Modelling Efficient Team Structures in Biology.Vlasta Sikimić & Ole Herud-Sikimić - 2022 - Journal of Logic and Computation.
    We used agent-based modelling to highlight the advantages and disadvantages of several management styles in biology, ranging from centralized to egalitarian ones. In egalitarian groups, all team members are connected with each other, while in centralized ones, they are only connected with the principal investigator. Our model incorporated time constraints, which negatively influenced weakly connected groups such as centralized ones. Moreover, our results show that egalitarian groups outperform others if the questions addressed are relatively simple or when the communication among (...)
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  • A Multidisciplinary Understanding of Polarization.Jiin Jung, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, William J. Berger, Bennett Holman & Karen Kovaka - 2019 - American Psychologist 74:301-314.
    This article aims to describe the last 10 years of the collaborative scientific endeavors on polarization in particular and collective problem-solving in general by our multidisciplinary research team. We describe the team’s disciplinary composition—social psychology, political science, social philosophy/epistemology, and complex systems science— highlighting the shared and unique skill sets of our group members and how each discipline contributes to studying polarization and collective problem-solving. With an eye to the literature on team dynamics, we describe team logistics and processes that (...)
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