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Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles

Episteme 17 (2):141-161 (2020)

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  1. Dating Through the Filters.Karim Nader - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):237-248.
    In this essay, I explore ethical considerations that might arise from the use of collaborative filtering algorithms on dating apps. Collaborative filtering algorithms can predict the preferences of a target user by looking at the past behavior of similar users. By recommending products through this process, they can influence the news we read, the movies we watch, and more. They are extremely powerful and effective on platforms like Amazon and Google. Recommender systems on dating apps are likely to group people (...)
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  • Moral Grandstanding as a Threat to Free Expression.Justin Tosi & Brandon Warmke - 2020 - Social Philosophy and Policy 37 (2):170-189.
    Moral grandstanding, or the use of moral talk for self-promotion, is a threat to free expression. When grandstanding is introduced in a public forum, several ideals of free expression are less likely to be realized. Popular views are less likely to be challenged, people are less free to entertain heterodox ideas, and the cost of changing one’s mind goes up.
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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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  • Towards a Pluralistic View of Formal Methods.Ko-Hung Kuan - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    This thesis is a collection of three self-contained papers on related themes in the area of formal and social epistemology. The first paper explores the possibility of measuring the coherence of a set with multiplicative averaging. It has been pointed out that all the existing probabilistic measures of coherence are flawed for taking the relevance between a set of propositions as the primary factor which determines the coherence of the set. What I show in this paper is that a group (...)
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  • Polarización y tecnologías de la Información: radicales vs. extremistas.Manuel Almagro & Neftalí Villanueva - 2021 - Dilemata 34:51-69.
    The way digital information technologies work and, more specifically, the possibilities for action that technological devices offer to us affect our processes of political belief formation. In particular, there seems to be a close connection between our digital affordances and the increase of the sort of polarization that threatens the proper functioning of democracy. In this paper, we analyze whether the type of polarization linked to the use of digital technologies, and which endangers the health of public deliberation, has to (...)
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  • Revisiting Online Intellectual Virtues.Lukas Schwengerer - 2021 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 10 (3):38-45.
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  • Echo Chambers and Audio Signal Processing.Benjamin Elzinga - 2020 - Episteme:1-21.
    Following Cass Sunstein's popular treatment of the concept, echo chambers are often defined as environments which exclude contrary opinions through omission. C. Thi Nguyen contests the popular usage and defines echo chambers in terms of in-group trust and out-group distrust. In this paper, I argue for a more comprehensive treatment. While both exclusion by omission and out-group distrust help sustain echo chambers, neither defines the phenomenon. I develop a social network model of echo chambers which focuses on the role of (...)
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  • Online Intellectual Virtues and the Extended Mind.Lukas Schwengerer - 2021 - Social Epistemology 35 (3):312-322.
    The internet has become an ubiquitous epistemic source. However, it comes with several drawbacks. For instance, the world wide web seems to foster filter bubbles and echo chambers and includes search results that promote bias and spread misinformation. Richard Heersmink suggests online intellectual virtues to combat these epistemically detrimental effects . These are general epistemic virtues applied to the online environment based on our background knowledge of this online environment. I argue that these online intellectual virtues also demand a particular (...)
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  • Taking Watsuji Online: Betweenness and Expression in Online Spaces.Lucy Osler & Joel Krueger - forthcoming - Continental Philosophy Review:1-23.
    In this paper, we introduce the Japanese philosopher Tetsurō Watsuji’s phenomenology of aidagara (“betweenness”) and use his analysis in the contemporary context of online space. We argue that Watsuji develops a prescient analysis anticipating modern technologically-mediated forms of expression and engagement. More precisely, we show that instead of adopting a traditional phenomenological focus on face-to-face interaction, Watsuji argues that communication technologies — which now include Internet-enabled technologies and spaces — are expressive vehicles enabling new forms of emotional expression, shared experiences, (...)
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  • Empathy and Common Ground.Hannah Read - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    Critics of empathy—the capacity to share the mental lives of others—have charged that empathy is intrinsically biased. It occurs between no more than two people, and its key function is arguably to coordinate and align feelings, thoughts, and responses between those who are often already in close personal relationships. Because of this, critics claim that empathy is morally unnecessary at best and morally harmful at worst. This paper argues, however, that it is precisely because of its ability to connect people (...)
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  • Evidential Preemption.Endre Begby - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • The Problem of Peer Demotion, Revisited and Resolved.Endre Begby - forthcoming - Analytic Philosophy.
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  • Evolution, Cultural Evolution, and Epistemic Optimism.Andrew Buskell - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  • Echo Chambers, Ignorance and Domination.Breno R. G. Santos - 2020 - Social Epistemology 35 (2):109-119.
    My aim in this paper is to engage with C. Thi Nguyen’s characterization of the echo chamber and to propose two things. First, I argue that a proper reading of his concept of echo chamber should make use of the notion of ignorance in the form of a structural epistemic insensitivity. My main contention is that ignorance as a substantive structural practice accounts for the epistemically deleterious effects of echo chambers. Second, I propose that from the talk of ignorance we (...)
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  • Conspiracy Theories and Evidential Self-Insulation.M. Giulia Napolitano - forthcoming - In Sven Bernecker, Amy Flowerree & Thomas Grundmann (eds.), The Epistemology of Fake News.
    What are conspiracy theories? And what, if anything, is epistemically wrong with them? I offer an account on which conspiracy theories are a unique way of holding a belief in a conspiracy. Specifically, I take conspiracy theories to be self-insulating beliefs in conspiracies. On this view, conspiracy theorists have their conspiratorial beliefs in a way that is immune to revision by counter-evidence. I argue that conspiracy theories are always irrational. Although conspiracy theories involve an expectation to encounter some seemingly disconfirming (...)
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  • Epistemic Injustice and Collective Wrongdoing: Introduction to Special Issue.Melanie Altanian & Nadja El Kassar - 2021 - Social Epistemology 35 (2):99-108.
    In this introduction to the special issue ‘Epistemic Injustice and Collective Wrongdoing,’ we show how the eight contributions examine the collective dimensions of epistemic injustice. First, we contextualize the articles within theories of epistemic injustice. Second, we provide an overview of the eight articles by highlighting three central topics addressed by them: i) the effects of epistemic injustice and collective wrongdoing, ii) the underlying epistemic structures in collective wrongdoing, unjust relations and unjust societies, and iii) the remedies and strategies of (...)
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  • The Word of a Reluctant Convert.Joshua DiPaolo - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):557-582.
    Recent political events suggest that there is more political, religious, and moral division than many had previously realized. Since people on all sides think they’re in the right, mitigating division is in everyone’s interest. But overcoming division requires changing minds, and changing minds requires advocacy. These considerations raise important questions in the epistemology of advocacy. In particular, who are the best advocates? After making some general remarks about the epistemology of advocacy, I explore the thought, found in Berkeley’s dialogue Alciphron, (...)
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  • Speak No Evil: Understanding Hermeneutical (In)Justice.John Beverley - forthcoming - Episteme:1-24.
    Miranda Fricker’s original presentation of Hermeneutical Injustice left open theoretical choice points leading to criticisms and subsequent clarifications with the resulting dialectic appearing largely verbal. The absence of perspicuous exposition of hallmarks of Hermeneutical Injustice might suggest scenarios exhibiting some – but not all – such hallmarks are within its purview when they are not. The lack of clear hallmarks of Hermeneutical Injustice, moreover, obscures both the extent to which Fricker’s proposed remedy Hermeneutical Justice – roughly, virtuous communicative practices – (...)
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  • Commercial Content Moderation: An Opaque Maze for Freedom of Expression and Customers’ Opinions.Paolo Petricca - 2020 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 11 (3):307-326.
    : The present work analyses Content Moderation, focusing on ethical concerns and cognitive effects. Starting from a general description and history of the moderation process, it stresses some ethical problems: quality of moderation, transparency, and the working conditions of human moderators. Using some of Facebook leaked slides offering examples of moderation, we define some controversial rules and principles for Commercial Content Moderation. These examples highlight a general lack of coherency and transparency, which has the potential to affect users’ cognitive attitudes, (...)
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  • Moral Outrage Porn.C. Thi Nguyen & Bekka Williams - 2020 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 18 (2).
    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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  • Giving Up the Enkratic Principle.Claire Field - forthcoming - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology.
    The Enkratic Principle enjoys something of a protected status as a requirement of rationality. I argue that this status is undeserved, at least in the epistemic domain. Compliance with the principle should not be thought of as a requirement of epistemic rationality, but rather as defeasible indication of epistemic blamelessness. To show this, I present the Puzzle of Inconsistent Requirements, and argue that the best way to solve this puzzle is to distinguish two kinds of epistemic evaluation – requirement and (...)
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  • Epistemic Dependence and Oppression: A Telling Relationship.Ezgi Sertler - forthcoming - Episteme:1-15.
    Epistemic dependence refers to our social mechanisms of reliance in practices of knowledge production. Epistemic oppression concerns persistent and unwarranted exclusions from those practices. This article examines the relationship between these two frameworks and demonstrates that attending to their relationship is a fruitful practice for applied epistemology. Paying attention to relations of epistemic dependence and how exclusive they are can help us track epistemically oppressive practices. In order to show this, I introduce a taxonomy of epistemic dependence. I argue that (...)
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  • The Role of Trust in Argumentation.Catarina Dutilh Novaes - 2020 - Informal Logic 40 (2):205-236.
    Argumentation is important for sharing knowledge and information. Given that the receiver of an argument purportedly engages first and foremost with its content, one might expect trust to play a negligible epistemic role, as opposed to its crucial role in testimony. I argue on the contrary that trust plays a fundamental role in argumentative engagement. I present a realistic social epistemological account of argumentation inspired by social exchange theory. Here, argumentation is a form of epistemic exchange. I illustrate my argument (...)
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  • Disengagement in the Digital Age: A Virtue Ethical Approach to Epistemic Sorting on Social Media.Kirsten J. Worden - 2019 - Moral Philosophy and Politics 6 (2):235-259.
    Using the Aristotelian virtue of friendship and concept of practical wisdom, this paper argues that engaging in political discourse with friends on social media is conducive to the pursuit of the good life because it facilitates the acquisition of the socio-political information and understanding necessary to live well. Previous work on social media, the virtues, and friendship focuses on the initiation and maintenance of the highest form of friendship online. I argue that the information necessary to live well can come (...)
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  • Epistemologia delle fake news.Tommaso Piazza & Michel Croce - 2019 - Sistemi Intelligenti 31 (3):433-461.
    Questo articolo prende in esame il fenomeno della proliferazione di fake news da un punto di vista filosofico—anzi, per meglio dire, prettamente epistemologico—con particolare attenzione a tre questioni fondamentali: cosa sono le fake news e come debbano essere definite; quali meccanismi ne favoriscono la proliferazione sui social media; chi debba essere ritenuto responsabile e degno di biasimo nel processo sotteso alla generazione, pubblicazione e diffusione di fake news. A partire dall'analisi dei principali lavori nella letteratura filosofica sul tema, ci proponiamo (...)
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  • Can Novices Trust Themselves to Choose Trustworthy Experts? Reasons for (Reserved) Optimism.Johnny Brennan - 2020 - Social Epistemology 34 (3):227-240.
    Novices face a problem when it comes to forming true beliefs about controversial issues that they cannot assess themselves: Who are the trustworthy experts? Elizabeth Anderson offers a set of criteria intended to allow novices to form reliable assessments of expert trustworthiness. All they need to assess experts is a high-school education and access to the internet. In this paper, I argue that novices face a much harder time using her criteria effectively than we would expect or hope. This problem (...)
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  • Conversion, Causes, and Closed-Mindedness.Joshua Dipaolo - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):74-95.
    ‘You just believe that because you were raised to believe it!’ is a familiar criticism. Many converts, however, believe the opposite of what they were raised to believe. Does this make them immune to these challenges? I scrutinize this ‘conversion defense’. If these challenges only concern belief genealogy, a certain kind of convert is immune to them. However, these challenges often concern closed-mindedness rather than genealogy. Seen in this light, the convert who is immune to the genealogical critique may be (...)
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  • Epistemology of Disagreement, Bias, and Political Deliberation: The Problems for a Conciliatory Democracy.Jay Carlson - forthcoming - Topoi:1-11.
    In this paper, I will discuss the relevance of epistemology of disagreement to political disagreement. The two major positions in the epistemology of disagreement literature are the steadfast and the conciliationist approaches: while the conciliationist says that disagreement with one’s epistemic equals should compel one to epistemically “split the difference” with those peers, the steadfast approach claims that one can maintain one’s antecedent position even in the face of such peer disagreement. Martin Ebeling applies a conciliationist approach to democratic deliberations, (...)
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