Philosophy of Science 84 (4):698-716 (2017)

Authors
Remco Heesen
University of Western Australia
Abstract
The communist norm requires that scientists widely share the results of their work. Where did this norm come from, and how does it persist? Michael Strevens provides a partial answer to these questions by showing that scientists should be willing to sign a social contract that mandates sharing. However, he also argues that it is not in an individual credit-maximizing scientist's interest to follow this norm. I argue against Strevens that individual scientists can rationally conform to the communist norm, even in the absence of a social contract or other ways of socially enforcing the norm, by proving results to this effect in a game-theoretic model. This shows that the incentives provided to scientists through the priority rule are sufficient to explain both the origins and the persistence of the communist norm, adding to previous results emphasizing the benefits of the incentive structure created by the priority rule.
Keywords philosophy of science  social structure of science  communist norm  priority rule  formal epistemology  sharing in science
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Reprint years 2015, 2016, 2017
DOI 10.1086/693875
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References found in this work BETA

The Division of Cognitive Labor.Philip Kitcher - 1990 - Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):5-22.
The Role of the Priority Rule in Science.Michael Strevens - 2003 - Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):55-79.

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Citations of this work BETA

The Credit Incentive to Be a Maverick.Remco Heesen - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:5-12.

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