The epistemic significance of collaborative research

Philosophy of Science 69 (1):150-168 (2002)
Abstract
I examine the epistemic import of collaborative research in science. I develop and defend a functional explanation for its growing importance. Collaborative research is becoming more popular in the natural sciences, and to a lesser degree in the social sciences, because contemporary research in these fields frequently requires access to abundant resources, for which there is great competition. Scientists involved in collaborative research have been very successful in accessing these resources, which has in turn enabled them to realize the epistemic goals of science more effectively than other scientists, thus creating a research environment in which collaboration is now the norm.
Keywords collaborative research  functional explanation  social epistemology
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