Minerva 55 (1):1-24 (2017)

Nicola Mößner
Aachen University of Technology
The internet has considerably changed epistemic practices in science as well as in everyday life. Apparently, this technology allows more and more people to get access to a huge amount of information. Some people even claim that the internet leads to a democratization of knowledge. In the following text, we will analyze this statement. In particular, we will focus on a potential change in epistemic structure. Does the internet change our common epistemic practice to rely on expert opinions? Does it alter or even undermine the division of epistemic labor? The epistemological framework of our investigation is a naturalist-pragmatist approach to knowledge. We take it that the internet generates a new environment to which people seeking information must adapt. How can they, and how should they, expand their repertory of social markers to continue the venture of filtering, and so make use of the possibilities the internet apparently provides? To find answers to these questions we will take a closer look at two case studies. The first example is about the internet platform WikiLeaks that allows so-called whistle-blowers to anonymously distribute their information. The second case study is about the search engine Google and the problem of personalized searches. Both instances confront a knowledge-seeking individual with particular difficulties which are based on the apparent anonymity of the information distributor. Are there ways for the individual to cope with this problem and to make use of her social markers in this context nonetheless?
Keywords anonymity  democratization of knowledge  division of epistemic labor,  experts  internet  WikiLeaks
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s11024-016-9310-0
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.Thomas S. Kuhn - 1962 - University of Chicago Press.
Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind.Wilfrid S. Sellars - 1956 - Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science 1:253-329.

View all 40 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Ignorance: Passive, Active, or Virtuous.Karl W. Schweizer - forthcoming - The European Legacy:1-5.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Internet in Public Life.Verna V. Gehring (ed.) - 2004 - Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Limiting Democracy: The American Media's World View, and Ours.Glenn Greenwald - 2010 - Social Research: An International Quarterly 77 (3):827-838.
The Internet and Research: Explanation and Resources.David Allie - 1995 - Journal of Mind and Behavior 16 (4):339-368.


Added to PP index

Total views
798 ( #8,659 of 2,498,401 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
112 ( #6,103 of 2,498,401 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes