Group Inquiry

Erkenntnis (forthcoming)
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Abstract
Group agents can act, they can have knowledge. How should we understand the species of collective action which aims at knowledge? In this paper, I present an account of group inquiry. This account faces two challenges: making sense of how large-scale distributed activities might be a kind of group action, and understanding the division of labour involved in group inquiry. In the first part of the paper, I argue that existing accounts of group action face problems dealing with large-scale group actions, and propose a minimal alternative account. In the second part of the paper, I draw on an analogy between inquiry and conversation, arguing that work by Robert Stalnaker and Craige Roberts helps us to think about the division of epistemic labour. In the final part of the paper I put the accounts of group action and inquiry together, and consider how to think about group knowledge, deep ignorance, and the different kinds of division of labour.
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Archival date: 2020-02-10
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2020-02-10

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