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  1. Scientific Polarization.Cailin O’Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):855-875.
    Contemporary societies are often “polarized”, in the sense that sub-groups within these societies hold stably opposing beliefs, even when there is a fact of the matter. Extant models of polarization do not capture the idea that some beliefs are true and others false. Here we present a model, based on the network epistemology framework of Bala and Goyal, 784–811 1998), in which polarization emerges even though agents gather evidence about their beliefs, and true belief yields a pay-off advantage. As we (...)
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  • Unifying Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    Various social epistemologists use what seem to be rather distinct notions of group rationality. In this essay, I offer an account of group rationality that unifies the dominant notions present in the literature. I argue that if we employ a teleological account of epistemic rationality, and allow that there are many different epistemic goals that are worth pursuing for various groups and individuals, we can then see how those seemingly divergent understandings of group rationality are all intimately related. I close (...)
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  • Vindicating Methodological Triangulation.Remco Heesen, Liam Kofi Bright & Andrew Zucker - 2016 - Synthese 196 (8):3067-3081.
    Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. In response to this uncertainty about the relative merits of different methods, W. E. B. Du Bois advocated for and applied “methodological triangulation”. This is to use multiple methods simultaneously in the belief that, where one is uncertain about the reliability of any given method, if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than (...)
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  • The Theory of Games as a Tool for the Social Epistemologist.Kevin J. S. Zollman - unknown
    Traditionally, epistemologists have distinguished between epistemic and pragmatic goals. In so doing, they presume that much of game theory is irrelevant to epistemic enterprises. I will show that this is a mistake. Even if we restrict attention to purely epistemic motivations, members of epistemic groups will face a multitude of strategic choices. I illustrate several contexts where individuals who are concerned solely with the discovery of truth will nonetheless face difficult game theoretic problems. Examples of purely epistemic coordination problems and (...)
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  • When Journal Editors Play Favorites.Remco Heesen - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):831-858.
    Should editors of scientific journals practice triple-anonymous reviewing? I consider two arguments in favor. The first says that insofar as editors’ decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, an injustice is committed against certain authors. I show that even well-meaning editors would commit this wrong and I endorse this argument. The second argument says that insofar as editors’ decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, it will negatively affect (...)
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  • A Role for Judgment Aggregation in Coauthoring Scientific Papers.Liam Kofi Bright, Haixin Dang & Remco Heesen - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):231-252.
    This paper addresses the problem of judgment aggregation in science. How should scientists decide which propositions to assert in a collaborative document? We distinguish the question of what to write in a collaborative document from the question of collective belief. We argue that recent objections to the application of the formal literature on judgment aggregation to the problem of judgment aggregation in science apply to the latter, not the former question. The formal literature has introduced various desiderata for an aggregation (...)
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  • Conservatism and the Scientific State of Nature.Erich Kummerfeld & Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1057-1076.
    Those who comment on modern scientific institutions are often quick to praise institutional structures that leave scientists to their own devices. These comments reveal an underlying presumption that scientists do best when left alone—when they operate in what we call the ‘scientific state of nature’. Through computer simulation, we challenge this presumption by illustrating an inefficiency that arises in the scientific state of nature. This inefficiency suggests that one cannot simply presume that science is most efficient when institutional control is (...)
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  • Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
    When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of (...)
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  • Jury Theorems for Peer Review.Marcus Arvan, Liam Kofi Bright & Remco Heesen - unknown
    Peer review is often taken to be the main form of quality control on academic writings. Usually this is carried out by journals. Parts of math and physics appear to have now set up a parallel, crowd-sourced model of peer review, where papers are posted on the arXiv to be publicly discussed. In this paper we argue that crowd-sourced peer review is likely to do better than journal-solicited peer review at sorting papers by quality. Our argument rests on two key (...)
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  • Endogenous Epistemic Factionalization: A Network Epistemology Approach.James Owen Weatherall & Cailin O'Connor - unknown
    Why do people who disagree about one subject tend to disagree about other subjects as well? In this paper, we introduce a network epistemology model to explore this phenomenon of “epistemic factionization”. Agents attempt to discover the truth about multiple beliefs by testing the world and sharing evidence gathered. But agents tend to mistrust evidence shared by those who do not hold similar beliefs. This mistrust leads to the endogenous emergence of factions of agents with multiple, highly correlated, polarized beliefs.
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  • A Pluralistic Account of Epistemic Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2018 - Synthese 195 (8):3571-3596.
    In this essay, I aim to motivate and defend a pluralistic view of epistemic rationality. At the core of the view is the notion that epistemic rationality is essentially a species of practical rationality put in the service of various epistemic goals. I begin by sketching some closely related views that have appeared in the literature. I then present my preferred version of the view and sketch some of its benefits. Thomas Kelly has raised challenging objections to a part of (...)
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  • Norms of Group Rationality.Matthew Kopec - 2012 - Dissertation, University of Wisconsin at Madison
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  • We Ought to Agree: A Consequence of Repairing Goldman's Group Scoring Rule.Matthew Kopec - 2012 - Episteme 9 (2):101-114.
    In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman presents a framework to quantify the epistemic effects that various policies, procedures, and behaviors can have on a group of agents. In this essay, I show that the framework requires some modifications when applied to agents with credences. The required modifications carry with them an interesting consequence, namely, that any group whose members disagree can become more accurate by forming a consensus through averaging their credences. I sketch a way that this result (...)
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  • The Epistemic Value of Expert Autonomy.Finnur Dellsén - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    According to an influential Enlightenment ideal, one shouldn't rely epistemically on other people's say-so, at least not if one is in a position to evaluate the relevant evidence for oneself. However, in much recent work in social epistemology, we are urged to dispense with this ideal, which is seen as stemming from a misguided focus on isolated individuals to the exclusion of groups and communities. In this paper, I argue that that an emphasis on the social nature of inquiry should (...)
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  • Let’s Not Agree to Disagree: The Role of Strategic Disagreement in Science.Carlos Santana - forthcoming - Synthese:1-19.
    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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  • The Credit Economy and the Economic Rationality of Science.Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (1):5-33.
    Theories of scientific rationality typically pertain to belief. In this paper, the author argues that we should expand our focus to include motivations as well as belief. An economic model is used to evaluate whether science is best served by scientists motivated only by truth, only by credit, or by both truth and credit. In many, but not all, situations, scientists motivated by both truth and credit should be judged as the most rational scientists.
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  • Can the Behavioral Sciences Self-Correct? A Social Epistemic Study.Felipe Romero - 2016 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 60:55-69.
    Advocates of the self-corrective thesis argue that scientific method will refute false theories and find closer approximations to the truth in the long run. I discuss a contemporary interpretation of this thesis in terms of frequentist statistics in the context of the behavioral sciences. First, I identify experimental replications and systematic aggregation of evidence (meta-analysis) as the self-corrective mechanism. Then, I present a computer simulation study of scientific communities that implement this mechanism to argue that frequentist statistics may converge upon (...)
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  • The Kuhnian Paradigm.Rogier De Langhe - 2013 - Topoi 32 (1):65-73.
    Kuhn wanted to install a new research agenda in philosophy of science. I argue that the tools are now available to better articulate his paradigm and let it guide philosophical research instead of itself remaining the object of philosophical debate.
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  • Individual Irrationality, Network Structure, and Collective Intelligence: An Agent-Based Simulation Approach.Bo Xu, Renjing Liu & Zhengwen He - 2016 - Complexity 21 (S1):44-54.
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  • Network Epistemology: Communication in Epistemic Communities.Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (1):15-27.
    Much of contemporary knowledge is generated by groups not single individuals. A natural question to ask is, what features make groups better or worse at generating knowledge? This paper surveys research that spans several disciplines which focuses on one aspect of epistemic communities: the way they communicate internally. This research has revealed that a wide number of different communication structures are best, but what is best in a given situation depends on particular details of the problem being confronted by the (...)
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  • Many‐Models Medicine: Diversity as the Best Medicine.Robin Nunn - 2012 - Journal of Evaluation in Clinical Practice 18 (5):974-978.
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  • All Agreed: Aumann Meets DeGroot.Jan-Willem Romeijn & Olivier Roy - 2018 - Theory and Decision 85 (1):41-60.
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