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  1. Citizens and Collective Deliberation in Social Science.Leandro de Brasi - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (3):72-113.
  • What’s so Good About a Wise and Knowledgeable Public?Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij - 2012 - Acta Analytica 27 (2):199-216.
    Political philosophers have been concerned for some time with the epistemic caliber of the general public, qua the body that is, ultimately, tasked with political decision-making in democratic societies. Unfortunately, the empirical data paints a pretty dismal picture here, indicating that the public tends to be largely ignorant on the issues relevant to governance. To make matters worse, social psychological research on how ignorance tends to breed overconfidence gives us reason to believe that the public will not only lack knowledge (...)
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  • Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - forthcoming - Noûs:1-22.
    Scientists, philosophers, and other researchers commonly assert their theories. This is surprising, as there are good reasons for skepticism about theories in cutting-edge research. I propose a new account of assertion in research contexts that vindicates these assertions. This account appeals to a distinct propositional attitude called endorsement, which is the rational attitude of committed advocacy researchers have to their theories. The account also appeals to a theory of conversational pragmatics known as the Question Under Discussion model, or QUD. Hence, (...)
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  • Rational Endorsement.Will Fleisher - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (10):2649-2675.
    It is valuable for inquiry to have researchers who are committed advocates of their own theories. However, in light of pervasive disagreement, such a commitment is not well explained by the idea that researchers believe their theories. Instead, this commitment, the rational attitude to take toward one’s favored theory during the course of inquiry, is what I call endorsement. Endorsement is a doxastic attitude, but one which is governed by a different type of epistemic rationality. This inclusive epistemic rationality is (...)
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  • Overtly Prompting People to “Think in Opposites” Supports Insight Problem Solving.Ivana Bianchi, Erika Branchini, Roberto Burro, Elena Capitani & Ugo Savardi - 2019 - Thinking and Reasoning 26 (1):31-67.
    This study aims to investigate the hypothesis that “thinking in opposites” might facilitate insight problem solving. For example, if the image relating to a problem is oriented horizontally, it may...
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  • Cognitive Synergy in Groups and Group-to-Individual Transfer of Decision-Making Competencies.Petru L. Curşeu, Nicoleta Meslec, Helen Pluut & Gerardus J. M. Lucas - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6.
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  • A Plea for Ecological Argument Technologies.Fabio Paglieri - 2017 - Philosophy and Technology 30 (2):209-238.
    In spite of significant research efforts, argument technologies do not seem poised to scale up as much as most commentators would hope or even predict. In this paper, I discuss what obstacles bar the way to more widespread success of argument technologies and venture some suggestions on how to circumvent such difficulties: doing so will require a significant shift in how this research area is typically understood and practiced. I begin by exploring a much broader yet closely related question: To (...)
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  • Disagreement and the Division of Epistemic Labor.Bjørn G. Hallsson & Klemens Kappel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (7):2823-2847.
    In this article we discuss what we call the deliberative division of epistemic labor. We present evidence that the human tendency to engage in motivated reasoning in defense of our beliefs can facilitate the occurrence of divisions of epistemic labor in deliberations among people who disagree. We further present evidence that these divisions of epistemic labor tend to promote beliefs that are better supported by the evidence. We show that promotion of these epistemic benefits stands in tension with what extant (...)
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  • An Interactionist Approach to Cognitive Debiasing.Steven Bland - forthcoming - Episteme:1-23.
    This paper examines three programmatic responses to the problem of cognitive bias: virtue epistemology, epistemic paternalism, and epistemic collectivism. Each of these programmes focuses on a single level of epistemic analysis: virtue theorists on individuals, paternalists on environments, and collectivists on groups. I argue that this is a mistake in light of the fact that cognitive biases arise from interactions between these three domains. Consequently, epistemologists should spend less time defending these programmes, and more time coordinating them. This paper offers (...)
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  • Why Do Humans Reason? Arguments for an Argumentative Theory.Dan Sperber - 2011 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34 (2):57.
    Short abstract (98 words). Reasoning is generally seen as a means to improve knowledge and make better decisions. However, much evidence shows that reasoning often leads to epistemic distortions and poor decisions. This suggests that the function of reasoning should be rethought. Our hypothesis is that the function of reasoning is argumentative. It is to devise and evaluate arguments intended to persuade. Reasoning so conceived is adaptive given humans’ exceptional dependence on communication and vulnerability to misinformation. A wide range of (...)
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  • Introduction.Dario Martinelli - 2009 - Sign Systems Studies 37 (3/4):353-368.
    Realism has been a central object of attention among analytical philosophers for some decades. Starting from analytical philosophy, the return of realism has spread into other contemporary philosophical traditions and given birth to new trends in current discussions, as for example in the debates about “new realism.” Discussions about realism focused on linguistic meaning, epistemology, metaphysics, theory of action and ethics. The implications for politics of discussion about realism in action theory and in ethics, however, are not much discussed.
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  • The Epistemic Value of Deep Disagreements.Kirk Lougheed - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (2):263-292.
    In the epistemology of disagreement literature an underdeveloped argument defending the claim that an agent need not conciliate when she becomes aware of epistemic peer disagreement is based on the idea that there are epistemic benefits to be gained from disagreement. Such benefits are unobtainable if an agent conciliates in the face of peer disagreement. I argue that there are good reasons to embrace this line of argument at least in inquiry-related contexts. In argumentation theory a deep disagreement occurs when (...)
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  • From Inference to Reasoning: The Construction of Rationality.David Moshman - 2004 - Thinking and Reasoning 10 (2):221 – 239.
    Inference is elementary and ubiquitous: Cognition always goes beyond the data. Thinking—including problem solving, decision making, judgement, planning, and argumentation—is here defined as the deliberate application and coordination of one's inferences to serve one's purposes. Reasoning, in turn, is epistemologically self-constrained thinking in which the application and coordination of inferences is guided by a metacognitive commitment to what are deemed to be justifiable inferential norms. The construction of rationality, in this view, involves increasing consciousness and control of logical and other (...)
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  • Probabilistic Effects in Data Selection.Mike Oaksford, Nick Chater & Becki Grainger - 1999 - Thinking and Reasoning 5 (3):193 – 243.
    Four experiments investigated the effects of probability manipulations on the indicative four card selection task (Wason, 1966, 1968). All looked at the effects of high and low probability antecedents (p) and consequents (q) on participants' data selections when determining the truth or falsity of a conditional rule, if p then q . Experiments 1 and 2 also manipulated believability. In Experiment 1, 128 participants performed the task using rules with varied contents pretested for probability of occurrence. Probabilistic effects were observed (...)
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  • The Social Origins of Folk Epistemology.Hugo Mercier - 2010 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (4):499-514.
    Because reasoning allows us to justify our beliefs and evaluate these justifications it is central to folk epistemology. Following Sperber, and contrary to classical views, it will be argued that reasoning evolved not to complement individual cognition but as an argumentative device. This hypothesis is more consistent with the prevalence of the confirmation and disconfirmation biases. It will be suggested that these biases render the individual use of reasoning hazardous, but that when reasoning is used in its natural, argumentative, context (...)
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  • Collectivized Intellectualism.Julia Jael Smith & Benjamin Wald - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):199-227.
    We argue that the evolutionary function of reasoning is to allow us to secure more accurate beliefs and more effective intentions through collective deliberation. This sets our view apart both from traditional intellectualist accounts, which take the evolutionary function to be individual deliberation, and from interactionist accounts such as the one proposed by Mercier and Sperber, which agrees that the function of reasoning is collective but holds that it aims to disseminate, rather than come up with, accurate beliefs. We argue (...)
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  • Strategies for Advice Taking: The Role of Epistemic Social Information.Annika Wallin & Richard McElreath - 2015 - Economics and Philosophy 31 (1):67-91.
    How does an individual decision maker update his or her beliefs in the light of others’ beliefs? We present an empirical investigation that varies decision makers’ access to other peoples’ beliefs: whether they know what course of action others have taken and whether they know why this course of action was taken.We propose a number of process models of advice taking that do and do not accommodate the reasons given for belief, and evaluate which is used through model comparison techniques.
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  • Looking for Arguments.Hugo Mercier - 2012 - Argumentation 26 (3):305-324.
    Abstract How do people find arguments while engaged in a discussion? Following an analogy with visual search, a mechanism that performs this task is described. It is a metarepresentational device that examines representations in a mostly serial manner until it finds a good enough argument supporting one’s position. It is argued that the mechanism described in dual process theories as ‘system 2’, or analytic reasoning fulfills these requirements. This provides support for the hypothesis that reasoning serves an argumentative function. Content (...)
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  • When Experts Argue: Explaining the Best and the Worst of Reasoning. [REVIEW]Hugo Mercier - 2011 - Argumentation 25 (3):313-327.
    Expert reasoning is responsible for some of the most stunning human achievements, but also for some of the most disastrous decisions ever made. The argumentative theory of reasoning has proven very effective at explaining the pattern of reasoning’s successes and failures. In the present article, it is expanded to account for expert reasoning. The argumentative theory predicts that reasoning should display a strong confirmation bias. If argument quality is not sufficiently high in a domain, the confirmation bias will make experts (...)
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  • What Good is Moral Reasoning?Hugo Mercier - 2011 - Mind and Society 10 (2):131-148.
    The role of reasoning in our moral lives has been increasingly called into question by moral psychology. Not only are intuitions guiding many of our moral judgments and decisions, with reasoning only finding post-hoc rationalizations, but reasoning can sometimes play a negative role, by finding excuses for our moral violations. The observations fit well with the argumentative theory of reasoning (Mercier H, Sperber D, Behav Brain Sci, in press-b), which claims that reasoning evolved to find and evaluate arguments in dialogic (...)
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  • A Bayesian Approach to Informal Argument Fallacies.Ulrike Hahn & Mike Oaksford - 2006 - Synthese 152 (2):207-236.
    We examine in detail three classic reasoning fallacies, that is, supposedly ``incorrect'' forms of argument. These are the so-called argumentam ad ignorantiam, the circular argument or petitio principii, and the slippery slope argument. In each case, the argument type is shown to match structurally arguments which are widely accepted. This suggests that it is not the form of the arguments as such that is problematic but rather something about the content of those examples with which they are typically justified. This (...)
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  • Elgin’s Community-Oriented Steadfastness.Klaas J. Kraay - forthcoming - Synthese:1-24.
    In recent years, epistemologists have devoted enormous attention to this question: what should happen when two epistemic peers disagree about the truth-value of some proposition? Some have argued that that in all such cases, both parties are rationally required to revise their position in some way. Others have maintained that, in at least some cases, neither party is rationally required to revise her position. In this paper, I examine a provocative and under-appreciated argument for the latter view due to Elgin (...)
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  • Joint Attention to Mental Content and the Social Origin of Reasoning.Cathal O’Madagain & Michael Tomasello - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Is Popper's Falsificationist Heuristic a Helpful Resource for Developing Critical Thinking?Chi‐Ming Lam - 2007 - Educational Philosophy and Theory 39 (4):432–448.
    Based on a rather simple thesis that we can learn from our mistakes, Karl Popper developed a falsificationist epistemology in which knowledge grows through falsifying, or criticizing, our theories. According to him, knowledge, especially scientific knowledge, progresses through conjectures that are controlled by criticism, or attempted refutations . As he puts it, ‘Criticism of our conjectures is of decisive importance: by bringing out our mistakes it makes us understand the difficulties of the problem which we are trying to solve. This (...)
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  • The Benefits of Argumentation Are Cross-Culturally Robust: The Case of Japan.H. Mercier, M. Deguchi, J.-B. Van der Henst & H. Yama - 2016 - Thinking and Reasoning 22 (1):1-15.
    Thanks to the exchange of arguments, groups outperform individuals on some tasks, such as solving logical problems. However, these results stem from experiments conducted among Westerners and they could be due to cultural particularities such as tolerance of contradiction and approval of public debate. Other cultures, collectivistic cultures in particular, are said to frown on argumentation. Moreover, some influential intellectual movements, such as Confucianism, disapprove of argumentation. In two experiments, the hypothesis that Easterners might not share the benefits of argumentation (...)
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  • Objective Evaluation of Demonstrative Arguments.Emmanuel Trouche, Jing Shao & Hugo Mercier - 2019 - Argumentation 33 (1):23-43.
    Many experiments suggest that participants are more critical of arguments that challenge their views or that come from untrustworthy sources. However, other results suggest that this might not be true of demonstrative arguments. A series of four experiments tested whether people are influenced by two factors when they evaluate demonstrative arguments: how confident they are in the answer being challenged by the argument, and how much they trust the source of the argument. Participants were not affected by their confidence in (...)
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  • Reliable Group Belief.Jeffrey Dunn - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    Many now countenance the idea that certain groups can have beliefs, or at least belief-like states. If groups can have beliefs like these, the question of whether such beliefs are justified immediately arises. Recently, Goldman Essays in collective epistemology, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014) has considered what a reliability-based account of justified group belief might look like. In this paper I consider his account and find it wanting, and so propose a modified reliability-based account of justified group belief. Lackey :341–396, (...)
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  • Bayesian Argumentation and the Pragmatic Approach: Comment on Darmstadter.Mike Oaksford - 2013 - Thinking and Reasoning 19 (3-4):495-499.
  • Experts and Laymen Grossly Underestimate the Benefits of Argumentation for Reasoning.Hugo Mercier, Emmanuel Trouche, Hiroshi Yama, Christophe Heintz & Vittorio Girotto - 2015 - Thinking and Reasoning 21 (3):341-355.
    Many fields of study have shown that group discussion generally improves reasoning performance for a wide range of tasks. This article shows that most of the population, including specialists, does not expect group discussion to be as beneficial as it is. Six studies asked participants to solve a standard reasoning problem—the Wason selection task—and to estimate the performance of individuals working alone and in groups. We tested samples of U.S., Indian, and Japanese participants, European managers, and psychologists of reasoning. Every (...)
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