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Bennett Holman
Yonsei University
  1. Rational Social and Political Polarization.Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Bennett Holman, Jiin Jung, Karen Kovaka, Anika Ranginani & William J. Berger - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2243-2267.
    Public discussions of political and social issues are often characterized by deep and persistent polarization. In social psychology, it’s standard to treat belief polarization as the product of epistemic irrationality. In contrast, we argue that the persistent disagreement that grounds political and social polarization can be produced by epistemically rational agents, when those agents have limited cognitive resources. Using an agent-based model of group deliberation, we show that groups of deliberating agents using coherence-based strategies for managing their limited resources tend (...)
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  2.  58
    Diversity, Ability, and Expertise in Epistemic Communities.Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Bennett Holman, Sean McGeehan & William J. Berger - 2019 - Philosophy of Science 86 (1):98-123.
    The Hong and Page ‘diversity trumps ability’ result has been used to argue for the more general claim that a diverse set of agents is epistemically superior to a comparable group of experts. Here we extend Hong and Page’s model to landscapes of different degrees of randomness and demonstrate the sensitivity of the ‘diversity trumps ability’ result. This analysis offers a more nuanced picture of how diversity, ability, and expertise may relate. Although models of this sort can indeed be suggestive (...)
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  3.  31
    Diversity and Democracy: Agent-Based Modeling in Political Philosophy.Bennett Holman, William Berger, Daniel J. Singer, Patrick Grim & Aaron Bramson - 2018 - Historical Social Research 43:259-284.
    Agent-based models have played a prominent role in recent debates about the merits of democracy. In particular, the formal model of Lu Hong and Scott Page and the associated “diversity trumps ability” result has typically been seen to support the epistemic virtues of democracy over epistocracy (i.e., governance by experts). In this paper we first identify the modeling choices embodied in the original formal model and then critique the application of the Hong-Page results to philosophical debates on the relative merits (...)
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  4.  31
    Understanding Polarization: Meaning, Measures, and Model Evaluation.Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, William Berger, Graham Sack, Steven Fisher, Carissa Flocken & Bennett Holman - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84:115-159.
    Polarization is a topic of intense interest among social scientists, but there is significant disagreement regarding the character of the phenomenon and little understanding of underlying mechanics. A first problem, we argue, is that polarization appears in the literature as not one concept but many. In the first part of the article, we distinguish nine phenomena that may be considered polarization, with suggestions of appropriate measures for each. In the second part of the article, we apply this analysis to evaluate (...)
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  5.  40
    Wisdom of Crowds, Wisdom of the Few: Expertise Versus Diversity Across Epistemic Landscapes.Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Bennett Holman, Sean McGeehan & William J. Berger - manuscript
    In a series of formal studies and less formal applications, Hong and Page offer a ‘diversity trumps ability’ result on the basis of a computational experiment accompanied by a mathematical theorem as explanatory background (Hong & Page 2004, 2009; Page 2007, 2011). “[W]e find that a random collection of agents drawn from a large set of limited-ability agents typically outperforms a collection of the very best agents from that same set” (2004, p. 16386). The result has been extremely influential as (...)
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  6.  95
    A Multidisciplinary Understanding of Polarization.Jiin Jung, Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, William J. Berger, Bennett Holman & Karen Kovaka - 2019 - American Psychologist 74:301-314.
    This article aims to describe the last 10 years of the collaborative scientific endeavors on polarization in particular and collective problem-solving in general by our multidisciplinary research team. We describe the team’s disciplinary composition—social psychology, political science, social philosophy/epistemology, and complex systems science— highlighting the shared and unique skill sets of our group members and how each discipline contributes to studying polarization and collective problem-solving. With an eye to the literature on team dynamics, we describe team logistics and processes that (...)
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  7.  64
    Don’T Forget Forgetting: The Social Epistemic Importance of How We Forget.Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Bennett Holman, Karen Kovaka, Jiin Jung & William Berger - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5373-5394.
    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 (...)
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