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  1. Deliberation and Disagreement: Problem Solving, Prediction, and Positive Dissensus.Hélène Landemore & Scott E. Page - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (3):229-254.
    Consensus plays an ambiguous role in deliberative democracy. While it formed the horizon of early deliberative theories, many now denounce it as an empirically unachievable outcome, a logically impossible stopping rule, and a normatively undesirable ideal. Deliberative disagreement, by contrast, is celebrated not just as an empirically unavoidable outcome but also as a democratically sound and normatively desirable goal of deliberation. Majority rule has generally displaced unanimity as the ideal way of bringing deliberation to a close. This article offers an (...)
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  • Monist and Pluralist Approaches on Underdetermination: A Case Study in Evolutionary Microbiology.Thomas Bonnin - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (1):135-155.
    Philosophers have usually highlighted how the weakness and paucity of historical evidence underdetermine the choice between rival historical explanations. Focusing underdetermination on the link between theory and evidence comes, I argue, with three assumptions: competing hypotheses are easy to generate, investigators agree on the constitution and interpretation of the evidence and a plurality of hypotheses is a useful evil to reach consensus. The last assumption implies that the sustained coexistence of incompatible hypotheses is considered as a scientific failure. I argue (...)
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  • 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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  • Is Epistocracy Irrational?Adam F. Gibbons - forthcoming - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Proponents of epistocracy worry that high levels of voter ignorance can harm democracies. To combat such ignorance, they recommend allocating comparatively more political power to more politically knowledgeable citizens. In response, some recent critics of epistocracy contend that epistocratic institutions risk causing even more harm, since much evidence from political psychology indicates that more politically knowledgeable citizens are typically more biased, less open-minded, and more prone to motivated reasoning about political matters than their less knowledgeable counterparts. If so, perhaps epistocratic (...)
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  • When Conciliation Frustrates the Epistemic Priorities of Groups.Mattias Skipper & Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2021 - In Fernando Broncano-Berrocal & J. Adam Carter (eds.), The Epistemology of Group Disagreement. Routledge.
    Our aim in this chapter is to draw attention to what we see as a disturbing feature of conciliationist views of disagreement. Roughly put, the trouble is that conciliatory responses to in-group disagreement can lead to the frustration of a group's epistemic priorities: that is, the group's favoured trade-off between the "Jamesian goals" of truth-seeking and error-avoidance. We show how this problem can arise within a simple belief aggregation framework, and draw some general lessons about when the problem is most (...)
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  • Virtues for Agents in Directed Social Networks.Mark Alfano - forthcoming - Synthese.
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  • Stop Talking About Fake News!Josh Habgood-Coote - 2019 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 62 (9-10):1033-1065.
    Since 2016, there has been an explosion of academic work and journalism that fixes its subject matter using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. In this paper, I argue that this terminology is not up to scratch, and that academics and journalists ought to completely stop using the terms ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’. I set out three arguments for abandonment. First, that ‘fake news’ and ‘post-truth’ do not have stable public meanings, entailing that they are either nonsense, context-sensitive, or contested. (...)
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  • Cognitive Archaeology and the Minimum Necessary Competence Problem.Anton Killin & Ross Pain - forthcoming - Biological Theory:1-15.
    Cognitive archaeologists attempt to infer the cognitive and cultural features of past hominins and their societies from the material record. This task faces the problem of minimum necessary competence: as the most sophisticated thinking of ancient hominins may have been in domains that leave no archaeological signature, it is safest to assume that tool production and use reflects only the lower boundary of cognitive capacities. Cognitive archaeology involves selecting a model from the cognitive sciences and then assessing some aspect of (...)
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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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  • For A Service Conception of Epistemic Authority: A Collective Approach.Michel Croce - 2019 - Social Epistemology (2):1-11.
    This paper attempts to provide a remedy to a surprising lacuna in the current discussion in the epistemology of expertise, namely the lack of a theory accounting for the epistemic authority of collective agents. After introducing a service conception of epistemic authority based on Alvin Goldman’s account of a cognitive expert, I argue that this service conception is well suited to account for the epistemic authority of collective bodies on a non-summativist perspective, and I show in detail how the defining (...)
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  • Citizens and Collective Deliberation in Social Science.Leandro de Brasi - 2020 - Manuscrito 43 (3):72-113.
  • Rational Social and Political Polarization.Daniel J. Singer, Aaron Bramson, Patrick Grim, Bennett Holman, Jiin Jung, Karen Kovaka, Anika Ranginani & William J. Berger - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (9):2243-2267.
    Public discussions of political and social issues are often characterized by deep and persistent polarization. In social psychology, it’s standard to treat belief polarization as the product of epistemic irrationality. In contrast, we argue that the persistent disagreement that grounds political and social polarization can be produced by epistemically rational agents, when those agents have limited cognitive resources. Using an agent-based model of group deliberation, we show that groups of deliberating agents using coherence-based strategies for managing their limited resources tend (...)
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  • Science and Rationality for One and All.P. D. Magnus - 2014 - Ergo 1 (5):129-138.
    It seems obvious that a community of one thousand scientists working together to make discoveries and solve puzzles should arrange itself differently than would one thousand scientist-hermits working independently. Because of limited time, resources, and attention, an independent scientist can explore only some of the possible approaches to a problem. Working alone, each hermit would explore the most promising approaches. They would needlessly duplicate the work of others and would be unlikely to develop approaches which look unpromising but really have (...)
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  • Scientific Networks on Data Landscapes: Question Difficulty, Epistemic Success, and Convergence.Patrick Grim, Daniel J. Singer, Steven Fisher, Aaron Bramson, William J. Berger, Christopher Reade, Carissa Flocken & Adam Sales - 2013 - Episteme 10 (4):441-464.
    A scientific community can be modeled as a collection of epistemic agents attempting to answer questions, in part by communicating about their hypotheses and results. We can treat the pathways of scientific communication as a network. When we do, it becomes clear that the interaction between the structure of the network and the nature of the question under investigation affects epistemic desiderata, including accuracy and speed to community consensus. Here we build on previous work, both our own and others’, in (...)
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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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  • Evolution, Cultural Evolution, and Epistemic Optimism.Andrew Buskell - forthcoming - Acta Biotheoretica.
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  • Economics Imperialism in Social Epistemology: A Critical Assessment.Manuela Fernández Pinto - 2016 - Philosophy of the Social Sciences 46 (5):443-472.
    Expanding on recent philosophical contributions to the conceptual and normative framework of scientific imperialism, I examine whether the economics approach to social epistemology can be considered a case of economics imperialism and determine whether economics’ explanatory expansionism appropriately contributes to this philosophical subfield or not. I argue first that the economics approach to social epistemology counts as a case of economics imperialism under a broad conception of the term, and second that we have good reasons to doubt the appropriateness of (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Diversity and the Division of Cognitive Labor.Ryan Muldoon - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (2):117-125.
    In epistemology and the philosophy of science, there has been an increasing interest in the social aspects of belief acquisition. In particular, there has been a focus on the division of cognitive labor in science. This essay explores several different models of the division of cognitive labor, with particular focus on Kitcher, Strevens, Weisberg and Muldoon, and Zollman. The essay then shows how many of the benefits of the division of cognitive labor flow from leveraging agent diversity. The essay concludes (...)
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  • The Social Epistemology of Consensus and Dissent.Boaz Miller - 2019 - In David Henderson, Peter Graham, Miranda Fricker & Nikolaj Jang Lee Linding Pedersen (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Social Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 228-237.
    This paper reviews current debates in social epistemology about the relations ‎between ‎knowledge ‎and consensus. These relations are philosophically interesting on their ‎own, but ‎also have ‎practical consequences, as consensus takes an increasingly significant ‎role in ‎informing public ‎decision making. The paper addresses the following questions. ‎When is a ‎consensus attributable to an epistemic community? Under what conditions may ‎we ‎legitimately infer that a consensual view is knowledge-based or otherwise ‎epistemically ‎justified? Should consensus be the aim of scientific inquiry, and (...)
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  • Strategy and the Pursuit of Truth.Christoph Merdes - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):117-138.
    Science is a social epistemic enterprise. The complexity of research requires the division of cognitive labor. As a consequence, scientists have to present results and incorporate the results of others into their body of knowledge. This creates the possibility of strategic behavior, leading to phenomena such as publication bias. To analyze the dynamics of strategic behavior in epistemic communities, agent-based modeling suggests itself as a method. The phenomena generated by the developed agent-based simulation model reveal a diverse set of possible (...)
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  • Women and ‘the Philosophical Personality’: Evaluating Whether Gender Differences in the Cognitive Reflection Test Have Significance for Explaining the Gender Gap in Philosophy.Christina Easton - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):139-167.
    The Cognitive Reflection Test is purported to test our inclination to overcome impulsive, intuitive thought with effortful, rational reflection. Research suggests that philosophers tend to perform better on this test than non-philosophers, and that men tend to perform better than women. Taken together, these findings could be interpreted as partially explaining the gender gap that exists in Philosophy: there are fewer women in Philosophy because women are less likely to possess the ideal ‘philosophical personality’. If this explanation for the gender (...)
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  • Feyerabend’s Well-Ordered Science: How an Anarchist Distributes Funds.Jamie Shaw - 2018 - Synthese 198 (1):419-449.
    To anyone vaguely aware of Feyerabend, the title of this paper would appear as an oxymoron. For Feyerabend, it is often thought, science is an anarchic practice with no discernible structure. Against this trend, I elaborate the groundwork that Feyerabend has provided for the beginnings of an approach to organizing scientific research. Specifically, I argue that Feyerabend’s pluralism, once suitably modified, provides a plausible account of how to organize science. These modifications come from C.S. Peirce’s account of the economics of (...)
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  • What We Talk About When We Talk About Truth: Dewey, Wittgenstein, and the Pragmatic Test.John Capps - forthcoming - International Journal of Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    Pragmatic theories of truth need to pass the pragmatic test: they need to make a difference. Unfortunately, defenders of the pragmatic theory have rarely applied this test. I argue that a Deweyan p...
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  • Improving Deliberations by Reducing Misrepresentation Effects.Cyrille Imbert, Thomas Boyer-Kassem, Vincent Chevrier & Christine Bourjot - 2020 - Episteme 17 (4):403-419.
    ABSTRACTDeliberative and decisional groups play crucial roles in most aspects of social life. But it is not obvious how to organize these groups and various socio-cognitive mechanisms can spoil debates and decisions. In this paper we focus on one such important mechanism: the misrepresentation of views, i.e. when agents express views that are aligned with those already expressed, and which differ from their private opinions. We introduce a model to analyze the extent to which this behavioral pattern can warp deliberations (...)
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  • Jump Ship, Shift Gears, or Just Keep on Chugging: Assessing the Responses to Tensions Between Theory and Evidence in Contemporary Cosmology.Siska De Baerdemaeker & Nora Mills Boyd - 2020 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 72:205-216.
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  • How to Beat Science and Influence People: Policymakers and Propaganda in Epistemic Networks.James Owen Weatherall, Cailin O’Connor & Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 71 (4):1157-1186.
    In their recent book, Oreskes and Conway describe the ‘tobacco strategy’, which was used by the tobacco industry to influence policymakers regarding the health risks of tobacco products. The strategy involved two parts, consisting of promoting and sharing independent research supporting the industry’s preferred position and funding additional research, but selectively publishing the results. We introduce a model of the tobacco strategy, and use it to argue that both prongs of the strategy can be extremely effective—even when policymakers rationally update (...)
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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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  • Conservatism and the Scientific State of Nature.Erich Kummerfeld & Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 67 (4):1057-1076.
    Those who comment on modern scientific institutions are often quick to praise institutional structures that leave scientists to their own devices. These comments reveal an underlying presumption that scientists do best when left alone—when they operate in what we call the ‘scientific state of nature’. Through computer simulation, we challenge this presumption by illustrating an inefficiency that arises in the scientific state of nature. This inefficiency suggests that one cannot simply presume that science is most efficient when institutional control is (...)
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  • Illegitimate Values, Confirmation Bias, and Mandevillian Cognition in Science.Uwe Peters - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy079.
    In the philosophy of science, it is a common proposal that values are illegitimate in science and should be counteracted whenever they drive inquiry to the confirmation of predetermined conclusions. Drawing on recent cognitive scientific research on human reasoning and confirmation bias, I argue that this view should be rejected. Advocates of it have overlooked that values that drive inquiry to the confirmation of predetermined conclusions can contribute to the reliability of scientific inquiry at the group level even when they (...)
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  • Modeling the Social Organization of Science: Chasing Complexity Through Simulations.Carlo Martini & Manuela Fernández Pinto - 2016 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 7 (2):221-238.
    At least since Kuhn’s Structure, philosophers have studied the influence of social factors in science’s pursuit of truth and knowledge. More recently, formal models and computer simulations have allowed philosophers of science and social epistemologists to dig deeper into the detailed dynamics of scientific research and experimentation, and to develop very seemingly realistic models of the social organization of science. These models purport to be predictive of the optimal allocations of factors, such as diversity of methods used in science, size (...)
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  • Evaluation of Research(Ers) and its Threat to Epistemic Pluralisms.Marco Viola - 2017 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 13 (2):55-78.
    While some form of evaluation has always been employed in science (e.g. peer review, hiring), formal systems of evaluation of research and researchers have recently come to play a more prominent role in many countries because of the adoption of new models of governance. According to such models, the quality of the output of both researchers and their institutions is measured, and issues such as eligibility for tenure or the allocation of public funding to research institutions crucially depends on the (...)
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  • Agent-Based Models of Dual-Use Research Restrictions.Elliott Wagner & Jonathan Herington - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axz017.
    Scientific research that could cause grave harm, either through accident or intentional malevolence, is known as dual-use research. Recent high-profile cases of dual-use research in the life sciences have led to debate about the extent to which restrictions on the conduct and dissemination of such research may impede scientific progress. We adapt formal models of scientific networks to systematically explore the effects that different regulatory schemes may have on a community’s ability to learn about the world. Our results suggest that, (...)
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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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  • Inference to the Best Explanation Versus Bayes’s Rule in a Social Setting.Igor Douven & Sylvia Wenmackers - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (2).
    This article compares inference to the best explanation with Bayes’s rule in a social setting, specifically, in the context of a variant of the Hegselmann–Krause model in which agents not only update their belief states on the basis of evidence they receive directly from the world, but also take into account the belief states of their fellow agents. So far, the update rules mentioned have been studied only in an individualistic setting, and it is known that in such a setting (...)
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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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  • Publishing Without (Some) Belief.Will Fleisher - 2020 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 9 (4):237-246.
    Thought: A Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • The Logic of Observation and Belief Revision in Scientific Communities.Hanna Sofie van Lee & Sonja Smets - 2020 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 51 (2):243-266.
    Scientists collect evidence in order to confirm or falsify scientific theories. Unfortunately, scientific evidence may sometimes be false or deceiving and as a consequence lead individuals to believe in a false theory. By interaction between scientists, such false beliefs may spread through the entire community. There is currently a debate about the effect of various network configurations on the epistemic reliability of scientific communities. To contribute to this debate from a logical perspective, this paper introduces an epistemic logical framework of (...)
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  • Social Network Structure and the Achievement of Consensus.Kevin J. S. Zollman - 2012 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (1):26-44.
    It is widely believed that bringing parties with differing opinions together to discuss their differences will help both in securing consensus and also in ensuring that this consensus closely approximates the truth. This paper investigates this presumption using two mathematical and computer simulation models. Ultimately, these models show that increased contact can be useful in securing both consensus and truth, but it is not always beneficial in this way. This suggests one should not, without qualification, support policies which increase interpersonal (...)
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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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  • Policymaking Under Scientific Uncertainty.Joe Roussos - 2020 - Dissertation, London School of Economics
    Policymakers who seek to make scientifically informed decisions are constantly confronted by scientific uncertainty and expert disagreement. This thesis asks: how can policymakers rationally respond to expert disagreement and scientific uncertainty? This is a work of non-ideal theory, which applies formal philosophical tools developed by ideal theorists to more realistic cases of policymaking under scientific uncertainty. I start with Bayesian approaches to expert testimony and the problem of expert disagreement, arguing that two popular approaches— supra-Bayesianism and the standard model of (...)
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  • Optimization of Scientific Reasoning: A Data-Driven Approach.Vlasta Sikimić - 2019 - Dissertation,
    Scientific reasoning represents complex argumentation patterns that eventually lead to scientific discoveries. Social epistemology of science provides a perspective on the scientific community as a whole and on its collective knowledge acquisition. Different techniques have been employed with the goal of maximization of scientific knowledge on the group level. These techniques include formal models and computer simulations of scientific reasoning and interaction. Still, these models have tested mainly abstract hypothetical scenarios. The present thesis instead presents data-driven approaches in social epistemology (...)
     
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  • The Epistemic Division of Labor Revisited.Johanna Thoma - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (3):454-472.
    Some scientists are happy to follow in the footsteps of others; some like to explore novel approaches. It is tempting to think that herein lies an epistemic division of labor conducive to overall scientific progress: the latter point the way to fruitful areas of research, and the former more fully explore those areas. Weisberg and Muldoon’s model, however, suggests that it would be best if all scientists explored novel approaches. I argue that this is due to implausible modeling choices, and (...)
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  • Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
    When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of (...)
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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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  • Academic Superstars: Competent or Lucky?Remco Heesen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4499-4518.
    I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics’ preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars (...)
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  • Epistemic Diversity and Editor Decisions: A Statistical Matthew Effect.Remco Heesen & Jan-Willem Romeijn - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    This paper offers a new angle on the common idea that the process of science does not support epistemic diversity. Under minimal assumptions on the nature of journal editing, we prove that editorial procedures, even when impartial in themselves, disadvantage less prominent research programs. This purely statistical bias in article selection further skews existing differences in the success rate and hence attractiveness of research programs, and exacerbates the reputation difference between the programs. After a discussion of the modeling assumptions, the (...)
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