Epistemically Pernicious Groups and the Groupstrapping Problem

Social Epistemology 33 (1):61-73 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Recently, there has been growing concern that increased partisanship in news sources, as well as new ways in which people acquire information, has led to a proliferation of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers: in the former, one tends to acquire information from a limited range of sources, ones that generally support the kinds of beliefs that one already has, while the latter function in the same way, but possess the additional characteristic that certain beliefs are actively reinforced. Here I argue, first, that we should conceive of epistemic bubbles and echo chambers as types of epistemically pernicious groups, and second, that while analyses of such groups have typically focused on relationships between individual members, at least part of what such groups epistemically pernicious pertains to the way that members rely on the groups themselves as sources of information. I argue that member reliance on groups results in groups being attributed a degree of credibility that outruns their warrant, a process I call groupstrapping. I argue that by recognizing the groupstrapping as an illicit method of forming and updating beliefs we can make progress on some of the open questions concerning epistemically pernicious groups.

Similar books and articles

Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles.C. Thi Nguyen - 2020 - Episteme 17 (2):141-161.
Group testimony.Deborah Tollefsen - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):299 – 311.
The Mark of the Plural: Generic Generalizations and Race.Daniel Wodak & Sarah-Jane Leslie - 2017 - In Paul C. Taylor, Linda Martín Alcoff & Luvell Anderson (eds.), The Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Race. Routledge. pp. 277-289.
What Is Justified Group Belief.Jennifer Lackey - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 125 (3):341-396.
Social Groups and Special Obligations.Kenneth Eric Shockley - 2002 - Dissertation, Washington University
Hyperlinear and sofic groups: a brief guide.Vladimir G. Pestov - 2008 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 14 (4):449-480.
Two Kinds of Unknowing.Rebecca Mason - 2011 - Hypatia 26 (2):294-307.
What are groups?Katherine Ritchie - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):257-272.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-11-16

Downloads
1,107 (#11,785)

6 months
162 (#20,362)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Kenneth Boyd
University of Toronto, St. George Campus (PhD)

References found in this work

Peer disagreement and higher order evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2011 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 183--217.
Peer Disagreement and Higher Order Evidence.Thomas Kelly - 2010 - In Richard Feldman & Ted A. Warfield (eds.), Disagreement. Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press.
What Is Justified Group Belief.Jennifer Lackey - 2016 - Philosophical Review Recent Issues 125 (3):341-396.
What are groups?Katherine Ritchie - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (2):257-272.
Groups with minds of their own.Philip Pettit - 2011 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Dennis Whitcomb (eds.), Social Epistemology: Essential Readings. New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 7 references / Add more references