Group deliberation, social cohesion, and scientific teamwork: Is there room for dissent?

Episteme 3 (1-2):37-51 (2006)
Deborah Tollefsen
University of Memphis
Recent discussions of rational deliberation in science present us with two extremes: unbounded optimism and sober pessimism. Helen Longino (1990) sees rational deliberation as the foundation of scientific objectivity. Miriam Solomon (1991) thinks it is overrated. Indeed, she has recently argued (2006) that group deliberation is detrimental to empirical success because it often involves groupthink and the suppression of dissent. But we need not embrace either extreme. To determine the value of rational deliberation we need to look more closely at the practice and practitioners of science. I offer a closer look here by exploring the joint agency of small research teams. Although there are factors that contribute to the suppression of dissent in group contexts, a closer look at the literature on group dynamics suggests that there are ways to mitigate the effects of groupthink. Thus, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic about the value of rational deliberation within certain scientific contexts
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DOI 10.3366/epi.2006.3.1-2.37
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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.
Social Empiricism.Miriam Solomon - 1994 - Noûs 28 (3):325-343.
Groupthink Versus The Wisdom of Crowds.Miriam Solomon - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):28-42.

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Citations of this work BETA

Values in Science: The Case of Scientific Collaboration.Kristina Rolin - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):157-177.
Moral Trust & Scientific Collaboration.Karen Frost-Arnold - 2013 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 44 (3):301-310.

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Developing Group-Deliberative Virtues.Scott F. Aikin & J. Caleb Clanton - 2010 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 27 (4):409-424.
Groupthink Versus The Wisdom of Crowds.Miriam Solomon - 2005 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (Supplement):28-42.


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