The Problem of Intransigently Biased Agents

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):956-968 (2015)

Justin Bruner
University of California, Irvine (PhD)
In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect of an epistemically impure agent on a community of honest truth seekers. Extending a formal model of network epistemology pioneered by Zollman, we conclude that an intransigently biased agent prevents the community from ever converging to the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network formation in which agents choose whom to trust. We contend that our model nicely captures aspects of current problems in medical research and gesture at some morals for medical epistemology more generally
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DOI 10.1086/683344
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Scientific Polarization.Cailin O'Connor & James Owen Weatherall - 2017 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (3):855-875.
Epistemology of Causal Inference in Pharmacology.Jürgen Landes, Barbara Osimani & Roland Poellinger - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 8 (1):3-49.
Discrimination and Collaboration in Science.Hannah Rubin & Cailin O’Connor - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):380-402.

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