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Remco Heesen
University of Western Australia
  1. Why the Reward Structure of Science Makes Reproducibility Problems Inevitable.Remco Heesen - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (12):661-674.
    Recent philosophical work has praised the reward structure of science, while recent empirical work has shown that many scientific results may not be reproducible. I argue that the reward structure of science incentivizes scientists to focus on speed and impact at the expense of the reproducibility of their work, thus contributing to the so-called reproducibility crisis. I use a rational choice model to identify a set of sufficient conditions for this problem to arise, and I argue that these conditions plausibly (...)
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  2. Communism and the Incentive to Share in Science.Remco Heesen - 2017 - Philosophy of Science 84 (4):698-716.
    The communist norm requires that scientists widely share the results of their work. Where did this norm come from, and how does it persist? Michael Strevens provides a partial answer to these questions by showing that scientists should be willing to sign a social contract that mandates sharing. However, he also argues that it is not in an individual credit-maximizing scientist's interest to follow this norm. I argue against Strevens that individual scientists can rationally conform to the communist norm, even (...)
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  3.  24
    The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick.Remco Heesen - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
    There is a commonly made distinction between two types of scientists: risk-taking, trailblazing mavericks and detail-oriented followers. A number of recent papers have discussed the question what a desirable mixture of mavericks and followers looks like. Answering this question is most useful if a scientific community can be steered toward such a desirable mixture. One attractive route is through credit incentives: manipulating rewards so that reward-seeking scientists are likely to form the desired mixture of their own accord. Here I argue (...)
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  4.  97
    Academic Superstars: Competent or Lucky?Remco Heesen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4499-4518.
    I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics’ preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars (...)
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  5. A Game-Theoretic Approach to Peer Disagreement.Remco Heesen & Pieter van der Kolk - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1345-1368.
    In this paper we propose and analyze a game-theoretic model of the epistemology of peer disagreement. In this model, the peers' rationality is evaluated in terms of their probability of ending the disagreement with a true belief. We find that different strategies---in particular, one based on the Steadfast View and one based on the Conciliatory View---are rational depending on the truth-sensitivity of the individuals involved in the disagreement. Interestingly, the Steadfast and the Conciliatory Views can even be rational simultaneously in (...)
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  6.  93
    Vindicating Methodological Triangulation.Remco Heesen, Liam Kofi Bright & Andrew Zucker - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3067-3081.
    Social scientists use many different methods, and there are often substantial disagreements about which method is appropriate for a given research question. In response to this uncertainty about the relative merits of different methods, W. E. B. Du Bois advocated for and applied “methodological triangulation”. This is to use multiple methods simultaneously in the belief that, where one is uncertain about the reliability of any given method, if multiple methods yield the same answer that answer is confirmed more strongly than (...)
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  7.  96
    A Role for Judgment Aggregation in Coauthoring Scientific Papers.Liam Kofi Bright, Haixin Dang & Remco Heesen - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (2):231-252.
    This paper addresses the problem of judgment aggregation in science. How should scientists decide which propositions to assert in a collaborative document? We distinguish the question of what to write in a collaborative document from the question of collective belief. We argue that recent objections to the application of the formal literature on judgment aggregation to the problem of judgment aggregation in science apply to the latter, not the former question. The formal literature has introduced various desiderata for an aggregation (...)
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  8. How Much Evidence Should One Collect?Remco Heesen - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2299-2313.
    A number of philosophers of science and statisticians have attempted to justify conclusions drawn from a finite sequence of evidence by appealing to results about what happens if the length of that sequence tends to infinity. If their justifications are to be successful, they need to rely on the finite sequence being either indefinitely increasing or of a large size. These assumptions are often not met in practice. This paper analyzes a simple model of collecting evidence and finds that the (...)
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  9.  90
    When Journal Editors Play Favorites.Remco Heesen - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (4):831-858.
    Should editors of scientific journals practice triple-anonymous reviewing? I consider two arguments in favor. The first says that insofar as editors’ decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, an injustice is committed against certain authors. I show that even well-meaning editors would commit this wrong and I endorse this argument. The second argument says that insofar as editors’ decisions are affected by information they would not have had under triple-anonymous review, it will negatively affect (...)
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