Echo chambers and epistemic bubbles

Episteme:1-21 (forthcoming)

Authors
C. Thi Nguyen
Utah Valley University
Abstract
Recent conversation has blurred two very different social epistemic phenomena: echo chambers and epistemic bubbles. Members of epistemic bubbles merely lack exposure to relevant information and arguments. Members of echo chambers, on the other hand, have been brought to systematically distrust all outside sources. In epistemic bubbles, other voices are not heard; in echo chambers, other voices are actively undermined. It is crucial to keep these phenomena distinct. First, echo chambers can explain the post-truth phenomena in a way that epistemic bubbles cannot. Second, each type of structure requires a distinct intervention. Mere exposure to evidence can shatter an epistemic bubble, but may actually reinforce an echo chamber. Finally, echo chambers are much harder to escape. Once in their grip, an agent may act with epistemic virtue, but social context will pervert those actions. Escape from an echo chamber may require a radical rebooting of one's belief system.
Keywords social epistemology  epistemology  expertise  testimony  trust  echo chambers  filter bubbles  polarization  Internet  technology  fake news
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DOI 10.1017/epi.2018.32
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Evidential Preemption.Endre Begby - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
Epistemologia delle fake news.Tommaso Piazza & Michel Croce - 2019 - Sistemi Intelligenti 31 (3):433-461.
Conversion, Causes, and Closed-Mindedness.Joshua Dipaolo - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):74-95.

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