When is consensus knowledge based? Distinguishing shared knowledge from mere agreement

Synthese 190 (7):1293-1316 (2013)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Scientific consensus is widely deferred to in public debates as a social indicator of the existence of knowledge. However, it is far from clear that such deference to consensus is always justified. The existence of agreement in a community of researchers is a contingent fact, and researchers may reach a consensus for all kinds of reasons, such as fighting a common foe or sharing a common bias. Scientific consensus, by itself, does not necessarily indicate the existence of shared knowledge among the members of the consensus community. I address the question of under what conditions it is likely that a consensus is in fact knowledge based. I argue that a consensus is likely to be knowledge based when knowledge is the best explanation of the consensus, and I identify three conditions—social calibration, apparent consilience of evidence, and social diversity, for knowledge being the best explanation of a consensus
PhilPapers/Archive ID
MILWIC
Revision history
Archival date: 2012-10-06
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Epistemic Luck.Pritchard, Duncan

View all 51 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Market Epistemology.Thicke, Michael

View all 10 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2012-10-06

Total views
2,275 ( #418 of 38,085 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
717 ( #294 of 38,085 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.