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  1. 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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  • 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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  • Why Think for Yourself?Jonathan Matheson - forthcoming - 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Embracing Incoherence.Claire Field - forthcoming - 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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