David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Synthese 172 (3):317 - 340 (2010)
Conformity is an often criticized feature of human belief formation. Although generally regarded as a negative influence on reliability, it has not been widely studied. This paper attempts to determine the epistemic effects of conformity by analyzing a mathematical model of this behavior. In addition to investigating the effect of conformity on the reliability of individuals and groups, this paper attempts to determine the optimal structure for conformity. That is, supposing that conformity is inevitable, what is the best way for conformity effects to occur? The paper finds that in some contexts conformity effects are reliability inducing and, more surprisingly even when it is counterproductive, not all methods for reducing its effect are helpful. These conclusions contribute to a larger discussion in social epistemology regarding the effect of social behavior on individual reliability.
|Keywords||Conformity Social network Social structure Social epistemology Agent based model|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Alvin I. Goldman (1999). Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford University Press.
Philip Kitcher (2002). 14 Social Psychology and the Theory of Science. In Peter Carruthers, Stephen P. Stich & Michael Siegal (eds.), The Cognitive Basis of Science. Cambridge University Press. 263.
Philip Kitcher (1993). The Advancement of Science: Science Without Legend, Objectivity Without Illusions. Oxford University Press.
Philip Kitcher (1990). The Division of Cognitive Labor. Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):5-22.
Husain Sarkar (2007). Group Rationality in Scientific Research. Cambridge University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Michael Fuerstein (2013). Epistemic Trust and Liberal Justification. Journal of Political Philosophy 21 (2):179-199.
Thomas Boyer (2013). Is a Bird in the Hand Worth Two in the Bush? Or, Whether Scientists Should Publish Intermediate Results. Synthese 191 (1):1-19.
Similar books and articles
Tanya R. Glaser (2000). Community, Conformity, and Justice. Social Philosophy Today 15:211-227.
Neil M. Lorber (1974). Conformity Versus Nonconformity to Social Ethics. The Monist 58 (4):674-682.
Roger Nett (1953). Conformity-Deviation and the Social Control Concept. Ethics 64 (1):38-45.
Mohammad J. Abdolmohammadi & C. Richard Baker (2006). Accountants' Value Preferences and Moral Reasoning. Journal of Business Ethics 69 (1):11 - 25.
Linda Thorne, Dawn W. Massey & Joanne Jones (2004). An Investigation of Social Influence. Business Ethics Quarterly 14 (3):525-551.
George W. Watson & Robyn Berkley (2009). Testing the Value-Pragmatics Hypothesis in Unethical Compliance. Journal of Business Ethics 87 (4):463 - 476.
William S. Laufer & Diana C. Robertson (1997). Corporate Ethics Initiatives as Social Control. Journal of Business Ethics 16 (10):1029-1047.
Lorenzo Sacconi & Marco Faillo, Conformity, Reciprocity and the Sense of Justice How Social Contract-Based Preferences and Beliefs Explain Norm Compliance: The Experimental Evidence.
Kelly D. Martin & Jean L. Johnson (2008). A Framework for Ethical Conformity in Marketing. Journal of Business Ethics 80 (1):103 - 109.
Seumas Miller (1990). Rationalising Conventions. Synthese 84 (1):23 - 41.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads8 ( #164,408 of 1,096,632 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #265,701 of 1,096,632 )
How can I increase my downloads?