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  1. Building Epistemically Healthier Platforms.Dallas Amico-Korby, Maralee Harrell & David Danks - forthcoming - Episteme.
    When thinking about designing social media platforms, we often focus on factors such as usability, functionality, aesthetics, ethics, and so forth. Epistemic considerations have rarely been given the same level of attention in design discussions. This paper aims to rectify this neglect. We begin by arguing that there are epistemic norms that govern environments, including social media environments. Next, we provide a framework for applying these norms to the question of platform design. We then apply this framework to the real-world (...)
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  • Epistemic Courage.Jonathan Ichikawa - 2024 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Epistemic Courage is a timely and thought-provoking exploration of the ethics of belief, which shows why epistemology is no mere academic abstraction - the question of what to believe couldn't be more urgent. Jonathan Ichikawa argues that a skeptical, negative bias about belief is connected to a conservative bias that reinforces the status quo.
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  • Epistemic Autonomy and Intellectual Humility: Mutually Supporting Virtues.Jonathan Matheson - 2024 - Social Epistemology 38 (3):318-330.
    Recently, more attention has been paid to the nature and value of the intellectual virtue of epistemic autonomy. One underexplored issue concerns how epistemic autonomy is related to other intellectual virtues. Plausibly, epistemic autonomy is closely related to a number of intellectual virtues like curiosity, inquisitiveness, intellectual perseverance, and intellectual courage to name just a few. Here, however, I will examine the relation between epistemic autonomy and intellectual humility. I will argue that epistemic autonomy and intellectual humility bear an interesting (...)
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  • Hostile Epistemology.C. Thi Nguyen - 2023 - Social Philosophy Today 39:9-32.
    Hostile epistemology is the study of how environmental features exploit our cognitive vulnerabilities. I am particularly interested in those vulnerabilities arise from the basic character of our epistemic lives. We are finite beings with limited cognitive resources, perpetually forced to reasoning a rush. I focus on two sources of unavoidable vulnerability. First, we need to use cognitive shortcuts and heuristics to manage our limited time and attention. But hostile forces can always game the gap between the heuristic and the ideal. (...)
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  • Biases in bioethics: a narrative review. [REVIEW]Bjørn Hofmann - 2023 - BMC Medical Ethics 24 (1):1-19.
    Given that biases can distort bioethics work, it has received surprisingly little and fragmented attention compared to in other fields of research. This article provides an overview of potentially relevant biases in bioethics, such as cognitive biases, affective biases, imperatives, and moral biases. Special attention is given to moral biases, which are discussed in terms of (1) Framings, (2) Moral theory bias, (3) Analysis bias, (4) Argumentation bias, and (5) Decision bias. While the overview is not exhaustive and the taxonomy (...)
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  • Liberal Democracy: Between Epistemic Autonomy and Dependence.Janusz Grygieńć - 2022 - Dialogue and Universalism 32 (3):47-64.
    Understanding the relationship between experts and laypeople is crucial for understanding today’s world of post-truth and the contemporary crisis of liberal democracy. The emergence of post-truth has been linked to various phenomena such as a flawed social and mass media ecosystem, poor citizen education, and the manipulation tactics of powerful interest groups. The paper argues that the problem is, however, more profound. The underlying issue is laypeople’s inevitable epistemic dependence on experts. The latter is part and parcel of the “risk (...)
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  • Deference to Experts.Alex Worsnip - forthcoming - In Kurt Sylvan, Ernest Sosa, Jonathan Dancy & Matthias Steup (eds.), The Blackwell Companion to Epistemology, 3rd edition. Wiley Blackwell.
    Especially but not exclusively in the United States, there is a significant gulf between expert opinion and public opinion on a range of important political, social, and scientific issues. Large numbers of lay people hold views contrary to the expert consensus on topics such as climate change, vaccines, and economics. Much political commentary assumes that ordinary people should defer to experts more than they do, and this view is certainly lent force by the literally deadly effects of many denials of (...)
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  • How to Do Things with Information Online. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Social Networking Platforms as Epistemic Environments.Lavinia Marin - 2022 - Philsophy and Technology 35 (77).
    This paper proposes a conceptual framework for evaluating how social networking platforms fare as epistemic environments for human users. I begin by proposing a situated concept of epistemic agency as fundamental for evaluating epistemic environments. Next, I show that algorithmic personalisation of information makes social networking platforms problematic for users’ epistemic agency because these platforms do not allow users to adapt their behaviour sufficiently. Using the tracing principle inspired by the ethics of self-driving cars, I operationalise it here and identify (...)
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  • Playfulness versus epistemic traps.C. Thi Nguyen - 2022 - In Mark Alfano, Jeroen De Ridder & Colin Klein (eds.), Social Virtue Epistemology. Routledge.
    What is the value of intellectual playfulness? Traditional characterizations of the ideal thinker often leave out playfulness; the ideal inquirer is supposed to be sober, careful, and conscientiousness. But elsewhere we find another ideal: the laughing sage, the playful thinker. These are models of intellectual playfulness. Intellectual playfulness, I suggest, is the disposition to try out alternate belief systems for fun – to try on radically different perspectives for the sheer pleasure of it. But what would the cog-nitive value be (...)
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  • Technology as Driver for Morally Motivated Conceptual Engineering.Herman Veluwenkamp, Marianna Capasso, Jonne Maas & Lavinia Marin - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (3):1-25.
    New technologies are the source of uncertainties about the applicability of moral and morally connotated concepts. These uncertainties sometimes call for conceptual engineering, but it is not often recognized when this is the case. We take this to be a missed opportunity, as a recognition that different researchers are working on the same kind of project can help solve methodological questions that one is likely to encounter. In this paper, we present three case studies where philosophers of technology implicitly engage (...)
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  • Aesthetic Experience and Intellectual Pursuits.Elisabeth Schellekens - 2022 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 96 (1):123-146.
    The main aim of this paper is to examine the practice of describing intellectual pursuits in aesthetic terms, and to investigate whether this practice can be accounted for in the framework of a standard conception of aesthetic experience. Following a discussion of some historical approaches, the paper proposes a way of conceiving of aesthetic experience as both epistemically motivating and epistemically inventive. It is argued that the aesthetics of intellectual pursuits should be considered as central rather than marginal to our (...)
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  • My Delicate Taste: Aesthetic Deference Revisited.Iskra Fileva - 2023 - Philosophers' Imprint 23.
    Pessimists about aesthetic testimony argue that it is inappropriate to rely on other people’s aesthetic judgments in forming our own aesthetic beliefs. Some suggest that such reliance violates an epistemic norm, others that it violates a non-epistemic norm. In making their case, pessimists offer several arguments. They also put forward cases meant to elicit pessimist intuitions. In this paper, I claim that none of the main pessimist arguments succeeds against a plausible version of optimism, that is, the view that reliance (...)
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  • Shopping for experts.Gabriele Contessa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    This paper explores the socio-epistemic practice of shopping for experts. I argue that expert shopping is particularly likely to occur on what Thi Nguyen calls cognitive islands. To support my argument, I focus on macroeconomics. First, I make a prima-facie case for thinking that macroeconomics is a cognitive island. Then, I argue that ordinary people are particularly likely to engage in expert shopping when it comes to macroeconomic matters. In particular, I distinguish between two kinds of expert shopping, which I (...)
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  • Transparency is Surveillance.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 105 (2):331-361.
    In her BBC Reith Lectures on Trust, Onora O’Neill offers a short, but biting, criticism of transparency. People think that trust and transparency go together but in reality, says O'Neill, they are deeply opposed. Transparency forces people to conceal their actual reasons for action and invent different ones for public consumption. Transparency forces deception. I work out the details of her argument and worsen her conclusion. I focus on public transparency – that is, transparency to the public over expert domains. (...)
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  • Informational Quality Labeling on Social Media: In Defense of a Social Epistemology Strategy.John P. Wihbey, Matthew Kopec & Ronald Sandler - manuscript
    Social media platforms have been rapidly increasing the number of informational labels they are appending to user-generated content in order to indicate the disputed nature of messages or to provide context. The rise of this practice constitutes an important new chapter in social media governance, as companies are often choosing this new “middle way” between a laissez-faire approach and more drastic remedies such as removing or downranking content. Yet information labeling as a practice has, thus far, been mostly tactical, reactive, (...)
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  • Embracing Incoherence.Claire Field - 2021 - In Nick Hughes (ed.), Epistemic Dilemmas. Oxford University Press. pp. 1-29.
    Incoherence is usually regarded as a bad thing. Incoherence suggests irrationality, confusion, paradox. Incoherentism disagrees: incoherence is not always a bad thing, sometimes we ought to be incoherent. If correct, Incoherentism has important and controversial implications. It implies that rationality does not always require coherence. Dilemmism and Incoherentism both embrace conflict in epistemology. After identifying some important differences between these two ways of embracing conflict, I offer some reasons to prefer Incoherentism over Dilemmism. Namely, that Incoherentism allows us to deliberate (...)
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  • The seductions of clarity.C. Thi Nguyen - 2021 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 89:227-255.
    The feeling of clarity can be dangerously seductive. It is the feeling associated with understanding things. And we use that feeling, in the rough-and-tumble of daily life, as a signal that we have investigated a matter sufficiently. The sense of clarity functions as a thought-terminating heuristic. In that case, our use of clarity creates significant cognitive vulnerability, which hostile forces can try to exploit. If an epistemic manipulator can imbue a belief system with an exaggerated sense of clarity, then they (...)
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  • Why Think for Yourself?Jonathan Matheson - 2022 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology:1-19.
    Life is a group project. It takes a village. The same is true of our intellectual lives. Since we are finite cognitive creatures with limited time and resources, any healthy intellectual life requires that we rely quite heavily on others. For nearly any question you want to investigate, there is someone who is in a better epistemic position than you are to determine the answer. For most people, their expertise does not extend far beyond their own personal lives, and even (...)
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  • 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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  • Moral outrage porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2):147-72.
    We offer an account of the generic use of the term “porn”, as seen in recent usages such as “food porn” and “real estate porn”. We offer a definition adapted from earlier accounts of sexual pornography. On our account, a representation is used as generic porn when it is engaged with primarily for the sake of a gratifying reaction, freed from the usual costs and consequences of engaging with the represented content. We demonstrate the usefulness of the concept of generic (...)
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  • Cognitive confinement: theoretical considerations on the construction of a cognitive niche, and on how it can go wrong.Konrad Werner - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6297-6328.
    This paper aims to elucidate a kind of ignorance that is more fundamental than a momentary lack of information, but also not a kind of ignorance that is built into the subject’s cognitive apparatus such that the subject can’t do anything about it. The paper sets forth the notion of cognitive confinement, which is a contingent, yet relatively stable state of being structurally or systematically unable to gain information from an environment, determined by patterns of interaction between the subject and (...)
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  • A taxonomy of types of epistemic dependence: introduction to the Synthese special issue on epistemic dependence.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & Jesús Vega-Encabo - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2745-2763.
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  • Expertise and the fragmentation of intellectual autonomy.C. Thi Nguyen - 2018 - Philosophical Inquiries 6 (2):107-124.
    In The Great Endarkenment, Elijah Millgram argues that the hyper-specialization of expert domains has led to an intellectual crisis. Each field of human knowledge has its own specialized jargon, knowledge, and form of reasoning, and each is mutually incomprehensible to the next. Furthermore, says Millgram, modern scientific practical arguments are draped across many fields. Thus, there is no person in a position to assess the success of such a practical argument for themselves. This arrangement virtually guarantees that mistakes will accrue (...)
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  • Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
    Recent conversation has blurred two very different social epistemic phenomena: echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Members of epistemic bubbles merely lack exposure to relevant information and arguments. Members of echo chambers, on the other hand, have been brought to systematically distrust all outside sources. In epistemic bubbles, other voices are not heard; in echo chambers, other voices are actively undermined. It is crucial to keep these phenomena distinct. First, echo chambers can explain the post-truth phenomena in a way that epistemic (...)
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  • Track Records: A Cautionary Tale.Alice C. W. Huang - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In the literature on expert trust, it is often assumed that track records are the gold standard for evaluating expertise, and the difficulty of expert identification arises from either the lack of access to track records, or the inability to assess them. I show, using a computational model, that even in an idealized environment where agents have a God’s eye view on track records, they may fail to identify experts. Under plausible conditions, selecting testimony based on track records ends up (...)
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  • From Belief Polarization to Echo Chambers: A Rationalizing Account.Endre Begby - forthcoming - Episteme:1-21.
    Belief polarization is widely seen to threaten havoc on our shared political lives. It is often assumed that BP is the product of epistemically irrational behaviors at the individual level. After distinguishing between BP as it occurs in intra-group and inter-group settings, this paper argues that neither process necessarily reflects individual epistemic irrationality. It is true that these processes can work in tandem to produce so-called “echo chambers.” But while echo chambers are often problematic from the point of view of (...)
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  • Casting Light Upon The Great Endarkenment.David Lumsden & Joseph Ulatowski - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (5):729-742.
    While the Enlightenment promoted thinking for oneself independent of religious authority, the ‘Endarkenment’ (Millgram 2015) concerns deference to a new authority: the specialist, a hyperspecializer. Non-specialists need to defer to such authorities as they are unable to understand their reasoning. Millgram describes how humans are capable of being serial hyperspecializers, able to move from one specialism to another. We support the basic thrust of Millgram’s position, and seek to articulate how the core idea is deployed in very different ways in (...)
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  • Epistemology and the Pandemic: Lessons from an Epistemic Crisis.Petr Špecián - 2022 - Social Epistemology 36 (2):167-179.
    Many democratic countries have failed to stand up to the challenge presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. I argue that the collective response to the pandemic has been incapacitated by an ‘epistemic crisis’, (i.e., a breakdown in the social division of epistemic labor) that led to a failure of citizens’ beliefs to converge towards a shared perception of the situation. Neither a paucity of relevant expert knowledge nor democratic citizens’ irrationality is required for the crisis to emerge. In particular, I highlight (...)
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  • Special Issue on COVID-19 Collective Irrationalities: An Overview.Kengo Miyazono & Rie Iizuka - 2023 - Philosophical Psychology 36 (5):895-905.
    In the previous discussions of irrationality in philosophy and psychology, the focus has been on irrationality at the level of individuals, such as irrational reasoning, irrational judgment, irrati...
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  • Philosophy in Poland: Varieties of Anti-Irrationalism. A Commitment to Reason without the Worship of Reason.Konrad Werner - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (1):1-32.
    I shall elaborate more on the idea of anti-irrationalism proposed by the Polish analytic philosopher Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz, a prominent member of the Lvov-Warsaw School of philosophy and logic. In my reading, anti-irrationalism stands in opposition not only to overt irrationalism, which is made clear by the term itself, but also to all forms of rationalism that tip toward something like worship of reason. Having characterized anti-irrationalism as it originally appeared in Ajdukiewicz’s works, I shall propose a certain reformulation of it, (...)
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  • The Problem of Peer Demotion, Revisited and Resolved.Endre Begby - 2021 - Analytic Philosophy 62 (2):125-140.
    In any domain of inductive reasoning, we must take care to distinguish between (i) which hypothesis my evidence supports, and (ii) the level of confidence I should have in the hypothesis, given my evidence. This distinction can help resolve the problem of peer demotion, a central point of contention in the epistemology of peer disagreement. It is true that disagreement does not provide evidence that I am right and you are wrong. But it need not, in order to lead to (...)
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  • Second-Order Assessment of Scientific Expert Claims and Sharing Epistemic Burdens in Science Communication.George Kwasi Barimah - forthcoming - Episteme:1-17.
    When laypersons are presented with scientific information which seeks to modify their way of life, they are expected to believe, suspend belief, or reject it. Second-order assessment of scientific experts helps laypersons to make an informed decision in such situations. This is an assessment of the trustworthiness of the person making the scientific claim. In this paper I challenge the optimistic view of Anderson, regarding the ease with which laypersons can perform second-order assessment of experts, by pointing out some of (...)
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  • Epistemic neighbors: trespassing and the range of expert authority.Jamie Carlin Watson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-21.
    The world is abuzz with experts who can help us in domains where we understand too little to help ourselves. But sometimes experts in one domain carry their privileged status into domains outside their specialization, where they give advice or otherwise presume to speak authoritatively. Ballantyne calls these boundary crossings “epistemic trespassing” and argues that they often violate epistemic norms. In the few cases where traveling in other domains is permissible, Ballantyne suggests there should be regulative checks for the experts (...)
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