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Value of cognitive diversity in science

Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540 (2017)

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  1. A Mid-Level Approach to Modeling Scientific Communities.Audrey Harnagel - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:49-59.
    This paper provides an account of mid-level models, which calibrate highly theoretical agent-based models of scientific communities by incorporating empirical information from real-world systems. As a result, these models more closely correspond with real-world communities, and are better suited for informing policy decisions than extant how-possibly models. I provide an exemplar of a mid-level model of science funding allocation that incorporates bibliometric data from scientific publications and data generated from empirical studies of peer review into an epistemic landscape model. The (...)
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  • Hidden Figures: Epistemic Costs and Benefits of Detecting (Invisible) Diversity in Science.Uwe Peters - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (1):1-21.
    Demographic diversity might often be present in a group without group members noticing it. What are the epistemic effects if they do? Several philosophers and social scientists have recently argued that when individuals detect demographic diversity in their group, this can result in epistemic benefits even if that diversity doesn’t involve cognitive differences. Here I critically discuss research advocating this proposal, introduce a distinction between two types of detection of demographic diversity, and apply this distinction to the theorizing on diversity (...)
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  • The Distribution of Ethical Labor in the Scientific Community.Vincenzo Politi & Alexei Grinbaum - 2020 - Journal of Responsible Innovation 7:263-279.
    To believe that every single scientist ought to be individually engaged in ethical thinking in order for science to be responsible at a collective level may be too demanding, if not plainly unrealistic. In fact, ethical labor is typically distributed across different kinds of scientists within the scientific community. Based on the empirical data collected within the Horizon 2020 ‘RRI-Practice’ project, we propose a classification of the members of the scientific community depending on their engagement in this collective activity. Our (...)
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  • Formal Models of Scientific Inquiry in a Social Context: An Introduction.Dunja Šešelja, Christian Straßer & AnneMarie Borg - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (2):211-217.
    Formal models of scientific inquiry, aimed at capturing socio-epistemic aspects underlying the process of scientific research, have become an important method in formal social epistemology and philosophy of science. In this introduction to the special issue we provide a historical overview of the development of formal models of this kind and analyze their methodological contributions to discussions in philosophy of science. In particular, we show that their significance consists in different forms of ‘methodological iteration’ whereby the models initiate new lines (...)
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  • Information Elaboration and Epistemic Effects of Diversity.Daniel Steel, Sina Fazelpour, Bianca Crewe & Kinley Gillette - 2019 - Synthese 198 (2):1287-1307.
    We suggest that philosophical accounts of epistemic effects of diversity have given insufficient attention to the relationship between demographic diversity and information elaboration, the process whereby knowledge dispersed in a group is elicited and examined. We propose an analysis of IE that clarifies hypotheses proposed in the empirical literature and their relationship to philosophical accounts of diversity effects. Philosophical accounts have largely overlooked the possibility that demographic diversity may improve group performance by enhancing IE, and sometimes fail to explore the (...)
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  • Formal Models of the Scientific Community and the Value-Ladenness of Science.Vincenzo Politi - unknown
    In the past few years, several formal models of the social organisation of science have been developed. While their robustness and representational adequacy has been analysed at length, the function of these models has begun to be discussed in more general terms only recently. This paper is a contribution to the general philosophical debate on the formal models of the social organisation of science. Its aim is to understand which view of science these models end up supporting as a consequence (...)
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  • Theory-Choice, Transient Diversity and the Efficiency of Scientific Inquiry.AnneMarie Borg, Daniel Frey, Dunja Šešelja & Christian Straßer - 2019 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (2):26.
    Recent studies of scientific interaction based on agent-based models suggest that a crucial factor conducive to efficient inquiry is what Zollman has dubbed ‘transient diversity’. It signifies a process in which a community engages in parallel exploration of rivaling theories lasting sufficiently long for the community to identify the best theory and to converge on it. But what exactly generates transient diversity? And is transient diversity a decisive factor when it comes to the efficiency of inquiry? In this paper we (...)
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  • Robustness and Idealizations in Agent-Based Models of Scientific Interaction.Daniel Frey & Dunja Šešelja - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1411-1437.
    The article presents an agent-based model of scientific interaction aimed at examining how different degrees of connectedness of scientists impact their efficiency in knowledge acquisition. The model is built on the basis of Zollman’s ABM by changing some of its idealizing assumptions that concern the representation of the central notions underlying the model: epistemic success of the rivalling scientific theories, scientific interaction and the assessment in view of which scientists choose theories to work on. Our results suggest that whether and (...)
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  • Centralized Funding and Epistemic Exploration.Shahar Avin - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (3):629-656.
    Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralized funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer review on large landscapes. The article proposes a way (...)
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  • What Is the Epistemic Function of Highly Idealized Agent-Based Models of Scientific Inquiry?Daniel Frey & Dunja Šešelja - 2018 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 48 (4):407-433.
    In this paper we examine the epistemic value of highly idealized agent-based models of social aspects of scientific inquiry. On the one hand, we argue that taking the results of such simulations as informative of actual scientific inquiry is unwarranted, at least for the class of models proposed in recent literature. Moreover, we argue that a weaker approach, which takes these models as providing only “how-possibly” explanations, does not help to improve their epistemic value. On the other hand, we suggest (...)
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  • Mathematical Models and Robustness Analysis in Epistemic Democracy: A Systematic Review of Diversity Trumps Ability Theorem Models.Ryota Sakai - 2020 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 50 (3):195-214.
    This article contributes to the revision of the procedure of robustness analysis of mathematical models in epistemic democracy using the systematic review method. It identifies the drawbacks of robustness analysis in epistemic democracy in terms of sample universality and inference from samples with the same results. To exemplify the effectiveness of systematic review, this article conducted a pilot review of diversity trumps ability theorem models, which are mathematical models of deliberation often cited by epistemic democrats. A review of nine models (...)
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  • The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick.Remco Heesen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:5-12.
    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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  • The Division of Cognitive Labor: Two Missing Dimensions of the Debate.Baptiste Bedessem - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):3.
    The question of the division of cognitive labor has given rise to various models characterizing the way scientists should distribute their efforts. These models often consider the scientific community as a self-governed sphere constituted by rational agents making choices on the basis of fixed rules. Such models have recently been criticized for not taking into account the real mechanisms of science funding. Hence, the question of the utility of the DCL models in guiding science policy remains an open one. In (...)
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  • Centralized Funding and Epistemic Exploration.Shahar Avin - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axx059.
    Computer simulation of an epistemic landscape model, modified to include explicit representation of a centralized funding body, show the method of funding allocation has significant effects on communal trade-off between exploration and exploitation, with consequences for the community’s ability to generate significant truths. The results show this effect is contextual, and depends on the size of the landscape being explored, with funding that includes explicit random allocation performing significantly better than peer-review on large landscapes. The paper proposes a way of (...)
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  • 2006.Alvin Goldman - forthcoming - Social Epistemology. In the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Available From Http://Plato. Stanford. Edu/Entries/Epistemology-Social.
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  • Argumentative Landscapes: The Functions of Models in Social Epistemology.N. Emrah Aydinonat, Samuli Reijula & Petri Ylikoski - forthcoming - Synthese:1-27.
    We argue that the appraisal of models in social epistemology requires conceiving of them as argumentative devices, taking into account the argumentative context and adopting a family-of-models perspective. We draw up such an account and show how it makes it easier to see the value and limits of the use of models in social epistemology. To illustrate our points, we document and explicate the argumentative role of epistemic landscape models in social epistemology and highlight their limitations. We also claim that (...)
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  • Exploration and Exploitation in Scientific Inquiry: Towards a Society of Explorers.Roope Oskari Kaaronen - unknown
    This essay argues that scientific systems have two main functions typical to self-organising adaptive and complex systems: Exploration for and exploitation of information. The self-organising nature, or spontaneous order, of scientific systems was prominently conceived by polymath Michael Polanyi. Revisiting Polanyi’s philosophy of science reveals why scientific freedom is still today as important a value as ever, even though the notion of “freedom” itself must be revised. Namely, freedom of inquiry should serve to maintain a diverse and adaptive balance between (...)
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  • Existential Risk, Creativity & Well-Adapted Science.Adrian Currie - forthcoming - Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science.
  • Exploring Scientific Inquiry Via Agent-Based Modeling.Dunja Šešelja - unknown
    In this paper I examine the epistemic function of agent-based models of scientific inquiry, proposed in the recent philosophical literature. In view of Boero and Squazzoni's classification of ABMs into case-based models, typifications and theoretical abstractions, I argue that proposed ABMs of scientific inquiry largely belong to the third category. While this means that their function is primarily exploratory, I suggest that they are epistemically valuable not only as a temporary stage in the development of ABMs of science, but by (...)
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  • Method Pluralism, Method Mismatch, & Method Bias.Adrian Currie & Shahar Avin - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    Pluralism about scientific method is more-or-less accepted, but the consequences have yet to be drawn out. Scientists adopt different methods in response to different epistemic situations: depending on the system they are interested in, the resources at their disposal, and so forth. If it is right that different methods are appropriate in different situations, then mismatches between methods and situations are possible. This is most likely to occur due to method bias: when we prefer a particular kind of method, despite (...)
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  • The Division of Cognitive Labor: Two Missing Dimensions of the Debate.Baptiste Bedessem - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):1-16.
    The question of the division of cognitive labor has given rise to various models characterizing the way scientists should distribute their efforts. These models often consider the scientific community as a self-governed sphere constituted by rational agents making choices on the basis of fixed rules. Such models have recently been criticized for not taking into account the real mechanisms of science funding. Hence, the question of the utility of the DCL models in guiding science policy remains an open one. In (...)
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