Dynamics and Diversity in Epistemic Communities

Erkenntnis 84 (1):101-119 (2019)

Abstract

Bruner shows that in cultural interactions, members of minority groups will learn to interact with members of majority groups more quickly—minorities tend to meet majorities more often as a brute fact of their respective numbers—and, as a result, may come to be disadvantaged in situations where they divide resources. In this paper, we discuss the implications of this effect for epistemic communities. We use evolutionary game theoretic methods to show that minority groups can end up disadvantaged in academic interactions like bargaining and collaboration as a result of this effect. These outcomes are more likely, in our models, the smaller the minority group. They occur despite assumptions that majority and minority groups do not differ with respect to skill level, personality, preference, or competence of any sort. Furthermore, as we will argue, these disadvantaged outcomes for minority groups may negatively impact the progress of epistemic communities.

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Author Profiles

Justin Bruner
University of Arizona
Cailin O'Connor
University of California, Irvine

Citations of this work

Is Peer Review a Good Idea?Remco Heesen & Liam Kofi Bright - 2021 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 72 (3):635-663.
Exploring by Believing.Sara Aronowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Review 130 (3):339-383.
Discrimination and Collaboration in Science.Hannah Rubin & Cailin O’Connor - 2018 - Philosophy of Science 85 (3):380-402.
The Social Dimensions of Scientific Knowledge.Helen Longino - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A Mid-Level Approach to Modeling Scientific Communities.Audrey Harnagel - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 76:49-59.

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