Don’t forget forgetting: the social epistemic importance of how we forget

Synthese 198 (6):5373-5394 (2019)
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Abstract

We motivate a picture of social epistemology that sees forgetting as subject to epistemic evaluation. Using computer simulations of a simple agent-based model, we show that how agents forget can have as large an impact on group epistemic outcomes as how they share information. But, how we forget, unlike how we form beliefs, isn’t typically taken to be the sort of thing that can be epistemically rational or justified. We consider what we take to be the most promising argument for this claim and find it lacking. We conclude that understanding how agents forget should be as central to social epistemology as understanding how agents form beliefs and share information with others.

Author Profiles

Daniel J. Singer
University of Pennsylvania
William Berger
Paul Smith's College
2 more

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