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Mandevillian Intelligence: From Individual Vice to Collective Virtue

In Joseph Adam Carter, Andy Clark, Jesper Kallestrup, Spyridon Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard (eds.), Socially-Extended Epistemology. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 253–274 (2018)

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  1. The Epistemic Benefit of Transient Diversity.Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):17-35.
    There is growing interest in understanding and eliciting division of labor within groups of scientists. This paper illustrates the need for this division of labor through a historical example, and a formal model is presented to better analyze situations of this type. Analysis of this model reveals that a division of labor can be maintained in two different ways: by limiting information or by endowing the scientists with extreme beliefs. If both features are present however, cognitive diversity is maintained indefinitely, (...)
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  • Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge.William P. Alston - 1996 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):197-201.
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  • Epistemic Landscapes and the Division of Cognitive Labor.Michael Weisberg & Ryan Muldoon - 2009 - Philosophy of Science 76 (2):225-252.
    Because of its complexity, contemporary scientific research is almost always tackled by groups of scientists, each of which works in a different part of a given research domain. We believe that understanding scientific progress thus requires understanding this division of cognitive labor. To this end, we present a novel agent-based model of scientific research in which scientists divide their labor to explore an unknown epistemic landscape. Scientists aim to climb uphill in this landscape, where elevation represents the significance of the (...)
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  • Societies of minds: Science as distributed computing.Paul Thagard - 1991 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 24 (1):49-67.
    Science is studied in very different ways by historians, philosophers, psychologists, and sociologists. Not only do researchers from different fields apply markedly different methods, they also tend to focus on apparently disparate aspects of science. At the farthest extremes, we find on one side some philosophers attempting logical analyses of scientific knowledge, and on the other some sociologists maintaining that all knowledge is socially constructed. This paper is an attempt to view history, philosophy, psychology, and sociology of science from a (...)
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  • Why do humans reason? Arguments for an argumentative theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
    Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...)
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  • Scientific rationality and human reasoning.Miriam Solomon - 1992 - Philosophy of Science 59 (3):439-455.
    The work of Tversky, Kahneman and others suggests that people often make use of cognitive heuristics such as availability, salience and representativeness in their reasoning and decision making. Through use of a historical example--the recent plate tectonics revolution in geology--I argue that such heuristics play a crucial role in scientific decision making also. I suggest how these heuristics are to be considered, along with noncognitive factors (such as motivation and social structures) when drawing historical and epistemological conclusions. The normative perspective (...)
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  • Evaluating Google as an Epistemic Tool.Thomas W. Simpson - 2012 - Metaphilosophy 43 (4):426-445.
    This article develops a social epistemological analysis of Web-based search engines, addressing the following questions. First, what epistemic functions do search engines perform? Second, what dimensions of assessment are appropriate for the epistemic evaluation of search engines? Third, how well do current search engines perform on these? The article explains why they fulfil the role of a surrogate expert, and proposes three ways of assessing their utility as an epistemic tool—timeliness, authority prioritisation, and objectivity. “Personalisation” is a current trend in (...)
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  • Cognitive ability and the extended cognition thesis.Duncan Pritchard - 2010 - Synthese 175 (1):133 - 151.
    This paper explores the ramifications of the extended cognition thesis in the philosophy of mind for contemporary epistemology. In particular, it argues that all theories of knowledge need to accommodate the ability intuition that knowledge involves cognitive ability, but that once this requirement is understood correctly there is no reason why one could not have a conception of cognitive ability that was consistent with the extended cognition thesis. There is thus, surprisingly, a straightforward way of developing our current thinking about (...)
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  • Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology.Duncan Pritchard - 2012 - Journal of Philosophy 109 (3):247-279.
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  • The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality.Karl Popper & M. A. Notturno - 1994 - Philosophy 71 (276):315-319.
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  • Belief-Forming Processes, Extended.Spyridon Orestis Palermos - 2011 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 2 (4):741-765.
    We very often grant that a person can gain knowledge on the basis of epistemic artifacts such as telescopes, microscopes and so on. However, this intuition threatens to undermine virtue reliabilism according to which one knows that p if and only if one’s believing the truth that p is the product of a reliable cognitive belief-forming process; in an obvious sense epistemic artifacts are not parts of one’s overall cognitive system. This is so, unless the extended cognition hypothesis (HEC) is (...)
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  • Active externalism, virtue reliabilism and scientific knowledge.Spyridon Orestis Palermos - 2015 - Synthese 192 (9):2955-2986.
    Combining active externalism in the form of the extended and distributed cognition hypotheses with virtue reliabilism can provide the long sought after link between mainstream epistemology and philosophy of science. Specifically, by reading virtue reliabilism along the lines suggested by the hypothesis of extended cognition, we can account for scientific knowledge produced on the basis of both hardware and software scientific artifacts. Additionally, by bringing the distributed cognition hypothesis within the picture, we can introduce the notion of epistemic group agents, (...)
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  • Diversity and the Division of Cognitive Labor.Ryan Muldoon - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (2):117-125.
    In epistemology and the philosophy of science, there has been an increasing interest in the social aspects of belief acquisition. In particular, there has been a focus on the division of cognitive labor in science. This essay explores several different models of the division of cognitive labor, with particular focus on Kitcher, Strevens, Weisberg and Muldoon, and Zollman. The essay then shows how many of the benefits of the division of cognitive labor flow from leveraging agent diversity. The essay concludes (...)
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  • Justified Belief in a Digital Age: On the Epistemic Implications of Secret Internet Technologies.Boaz Miller & Isaac Record - 2013 - Episteme 10 (2):117 - 134.
    People increasingly form beliefs based on information gained from automatically filtered Internet ‎sources such as search engines. However, the workings of such sources are often opaque, preventing ‎subjects from knowing whether the information provided is biased or incomplete. Users’ reliance on ‎Internet technologies whose modes of operation are concealed from them raises serious concerns about ‎the justificatory status of the beliefs they end up forming. Yet it is unclear how to address these concerns ‎within standard theories of knowledge and justification. (...)
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  • The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions.Philip Kitcher - 1993 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    During the last three decades, reflections on the growth of scientific knowledge have inspired historians, sociologists, and some philosophers to contend that scientific objectivity is a myth. In this book, Kitcher attempts to resurrect the notions of objectivity and progress in science by identifying both the limitations of idealized treatments of growth of knowledge and the overreactions to philosophical idealizations. Recognizing that science is done not by logically omniscient subjects working in isolation, but by people with a variety of personal (...)
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  • Character, reliability and virtue epistemology.Jason Baehr - 2006 - Philosophical Quarterly 56 (223):193–212.
    Standard characterizations of virtue epistemology divide the field into two camps: virtue reliabilism and virtue responsibilism. Virtue reliabilists think of intellectual virtues as reliable cognitive faculties or abilities, while virtue responsibilists conceive of them as good intellectual character traits. I argue that responsibilist character virtues sometimes satisfy the conditions of a reliabilist conception of intellectual virtue, and that consequently virtue reliabilists, and reliabilists in general, must pay closer attention to matters of intellectual character. This leads to several new questions and (...)
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  • A (Different) Virtue Epistemology.John Greco - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (1):1-26.
    Section 1 articulates a genus-species claim: that knowledge is a kind of success from ability. Equivalently: In cases of knowledge, S’s success in believing the truth is attributable to S’s ability. That idea is then applied to questions about the nature and value of knowledge. Section 2 asks what it would take to turn the genus-species claim into a proper theory of knowledge; that is, into informative, necessary and sufficient conditions. That question is raised in the context of an important (...)
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  • Virtues in Epistemology.John Greco - 2002 - In Paul Moser (ed.), Oxford Handbook of Epistemology. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 287--315.
    Part One reviews some recent history of epistemology, focusing on ways in which the intellectual virtues have been invoked to solve specific epistemological problems. This part gives a sense of the contemporary landscape that has emerged and clarifies some of the disagreements among those who invoke the virtues in epistemology. Part Two explores some problems about knowledge in greater detail, and defends a externalist approach in virtue epistemology.
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  • Agent reliabilism.John Greco - 1999 - Philosophical Perspectives 13:273-296.
    This paper reviews two skeptical arguments and argues that a reliabilist framework is necessary to avoid them. The paper also argues that agent reliabilism, which makes the knower the seat of reliability, is the most plausible version of reliabilism.
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  • Agent Reliabilism.John Greco - 1999 - Noûs 33 (s13):273-296.
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  • Précis of knowledge in a social world. [REVIEW]Alvin I. Goldman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):185–190.
    Epistemology has historically focused on individual inquirers conducting their intellectual affairs in total isolation from one another. Methodological solipsism aside, however, it is incontestable that people’s opinions are massively influenced by their community and culture, by the written and spoken words of others, both past and present. This has led recent epistemologists to pay greater attention to the social dimensions of knowledge, especially to the role of testimony as a source of justification. The aim of Knowledge in a Social World (...)
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  • Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin Ira Goldman - 1999 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Knowledge in a Social World offers a philosophy for the information age. Alvin Goldman explores new frontiers by creating a thoroughgoing social epistemology, moving beyond the traditional focus on solitary knowers. Against the tides of postmodernism and social constructionism Goldman defends the integrity of truth and shows how to promote it by well-designed forms of social interaction. From science to education, from law to democracy, he shows why and how public institutions should seek knowledge-enhancing practices. The result is a bold, (...)
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  • Knowledge in a Social World.Alvin I. Goldman - 2002 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 64 (1):185-190.
    Epistemology has historically focused on individual inquirers conducting their intellectual affairs in total isolation from one another. Methodological solipsism aside, however, it is incontestable that people’s opinions are massively influenced by their community and culture, by the written and spoken words of others, both past and present. This has led recent epistemologists to pay greater attention to the social dimensions of knowledge, especially to the role of testimony as a source of justification. The aim of Knowledge in a Social World (...)
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  • Karl Popper, The Myth of the Framework. Routledge, London, 1994, cloth £25.00 Karl Popper, Knowledge and the Body–Mind Problem. London, Routledge, 1994, cloth £27.50. [REVIEW]Alexander Bird - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):149-151.
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  • Virtue epistemology.Heather Battaly - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):639-663.
    What are the qualities of an excellent thinker? A growing new field, virtue epistemology, answers this question. Section I distinguishes virtue epistemology from belief-based epistemology. Section II explains the two primary accounts of intellectual virtue: virtue-reliabilism and virtue-responsibilism. Virtue-reliabilists claim that the virtues are stable reliable faculties, like vision. Virtue-responsibilists claim that they are acquired character traits, like open-mindedness. Section III evaluates progress and problems with respect to three key projects: explaining low-grade knowledge, high-grade knowledge, and the individual intellectual virtues.
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  • Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge.William P. Alston - 2000 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 60 (1):185.
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  • Virtues of the Mind: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Virtue and the Ethical Foundations of Knowledge.Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski - 1996 - Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.
    Almost all theories of knowledge and justified belief employ moral concepts and forms of argument borrowed from moral theories, but none of them pay attention to the current renaissance in virtue ethics. This remarkable book is the first attempt to establish a theory of knowledge based on the model of virtue theory in ethics. The book develops the concept of an intellectual virtue, and then shows how the concept can be used to give an account of the major concepts in (...)
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  • Social Epistemology.Duncan Pritchard, Alan Millar & Adrian Haddock (eds.) - 2008 - Oxford University Press.
    Recent epistemology has reflected a growing interest in the social dimension of the subject. This volume presents new work by leading philosophers on a wide range of topics in social epistemology, such as the nature of testimony, the epistemology of disagreement, and the social genealogy of the concept of knowledge.
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  • Social Epistemology:Essential Readings: Essential Readings.Alvin Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.) - 2010 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume will be of great interest to scholars and students in epistemology.
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  • Cognition in the Wild.Edwin Hutchins - 1995 - MIT Press.
    Hutchins examines a set of phenomena that have fallen between the established disciplines of psychology and anthropology, bringing to light a new set of relationships between culture and cognition.
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  • The Routledge Handbook of Applied Epistemology.David Coady & James Chase (eds.) - 2018 - New York: Routledge.
    While applied epistemology has been neglected for much of the twentieth century, it has seen emerging interest in recent years, with key thinkers in the field helping to put it on the philosophical map. Although it is an old tradition, current technological and social developments have dramatically changed both the questions it faces and the methodology required to answer those questions. Recent developments also make it a particularly important and exciting area for research and teaching in the twenty-first century. The (...)
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  • Virtue Epistemology: Contemporary Readings.John Greco & John Turri (eds.) - 2012 - MIT Press.
    Virtue epistemology is a diverse and flourishing field, one of the most exciting developments in epistemology to emerge over the last three decades. Virtue epistemology begins with the premise that epistemology is a normative discipline and, accordingly, a central task of epistemology is to explain the sort of normativity that knowledge, justified belief, and the like involve. A second premise is that a focus on the intellectual virtues is essential to carrying out this central task. This collection offers some of (...)
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  • Extended Knowledge and Social Epistemology.Spyrion Orestis Palermos & Duncan Pritchard - 2013 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective (8):105-120.
    The place of social epistemology within contemporary philosophy, as well as its relation to other academic disciplines, is the topic of an ongoing debate. One camp within that debate holds that social epistemology should be pursued strictly from within the perspective of individualistic analytic epistemology. In contrast, a second camp holds that social epistemology is an interdisciplinary field that should be given priority over traditional analytic epistemology, with the specific aim of radically transforming the latter to fit the results and (...)
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  • Shared Knowledge from Individual Vice: the role of unworthy epistemic emotions.Adam Morton - 2014 - Philosophical Inquiries.
    This paper begins with a discussion the role of less-than-admirable epistemic emotions in our respectable, indeed admirable inquiries: nosiness, obsessiveness, wishful thinking, denial, partisanship. The explanation for their desirable effect is Mandevillian: because of the division of epistemic labour individual epistemic vices can lead to shared knowledge. In fact it is sometimes essential to it.
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  • The Myth of the Framework: In Defense of Science and Rationality.Karl R. Popper - 1994 - In Mark Amadeus Notturno (ed.), The Myth of the Framework: In Defence of Science and Rationality. London: Routledge. pp. 33-64.
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  • Knowledge.Duncan Pritchard - 2009 - In John Shand (ed.), Central Issues of Philosophy. Wiley-Blackwell.
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  • Cognition in the Wild.Edward Hutchins - 1995 - Critica 27 (81):101-105.
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  • A guide to social epistemology.Alvin I. Goldman - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press.
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  • Wikipistemology.Don Fallis - 2010 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. Oxford University Press.
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  • The social organization of distributed cognition.E. Hutchins - 1991 - In Lauren Resnick, Levine B., M. John, Stephanie Teasley & D. (eds.), Perspectives on Socially Shared Cognition. American Psychological Association. pp. 283--307.
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