Joint Acceptance and Scientific Change: A Case Study

Episteme 7 (3):248-265 (2010)
Recently, several scholars have argued that scientists can accept scientific claims in a collective process, and that the capacity of scientific groups to form joint acceptances is linked to a functional division of labor between the group members. However, these accounts reveal little about how the cognitive content of the jointly accepted claim is formed, and how group members depend on each other in this process. In this paper, I shall therefore argue that we need to link analyses of joint acceptance with analyses of distributed cognition. To sketch how this can be done, I shall present a detailed case study, and on the basis of the case, analyze the process through which a group of scientists jointly accept a new scientific claim and at a later stage jointly accept to revise previously accepted claims. I shall argue that joint acceptance in science can be established in situations where an overall conceptual structure is jointly accepted by a group of scientists while detailed parts of it are distributed among group members with different areas of expertise, a condition that I shall call a heterogeneous conceptual consensus. Finally, I shall show how a heterogeneous conceptual consensus can work as a constraint against scientific change and address the question how changes may nevertheless occur.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.3366/epi.2010.0206
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,217
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 12 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Raimo Tuomela (2006). Joint Intention, We-Mode and I-Mode. Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):35–58.
Raimo Tuomela (1992). Group Beliefs. Synthese 91 (3):285-318.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

50 ( #95,711 of 1,932,454 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

6 ( #149,265 of 1,932,454 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.