Epistemic Trust in Science

Epistemic trust is crucial for science. This article aims to identify the kinds of assumptions that are involved in epistemic trust as it is required for the successful operation of science as a collective epistemic enterprise. The relevant kind of reliance should involve working from the assumption that the epistemic endeavors of others are appropriately geared towards the truth, but the exact content of this assumption is more difficult to analyze than it might appear. The root of the problem is that methodological decisions in science typically involve a complex trade-off between the reliability of positive results, the reliability of negative results, and the investigation's power. Which balance between these is the ‘correct’ one can only be determined in light of an evaluation of the consequences of all the different possible outcomes of the inquiry. What it means for the investigation to be ‘appropriately geared towards the truth’ thus depends on certain value judgments. I conclude that in the optimal case, trusting someone in her capacity as an information provider also involves a reliance on her having the right attitude towards the possible consequences of her epistemic work. 1 Introduction2 Epistemic Reliance within the Sciences3 Methodological Conventionalism4 Trust in Science5 Conclusions
Keywords social epistemology  epistemic trust  reliability  science and values
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1093/bjps/axs007
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,178
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Values in Science: The Case of Scientific Collaboration.Kristina Rolin - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (2):157-177.
Uncertainties, Plurality, and Robustness in Climate Research and Modeling: On the Reliability of Climate Prognoses.Anna Leuschner - 2015 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 46 (2):367-381.

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
The Politics of Intellectual Self-Trust.Karen Jones - 2012 - Social Epistemology 26 (2):237-251.
Epistemic Trust.Linda Zagzebski - 2003 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (2):113-117.
The Role of Non-Epistemic Values in Engineering Models.Sven Diekmann & Martin Peterson - 2013 - Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):207-218.
The Entanglement of Trust and Knowledge on the Web.Judith Simon - 2010 - Ethics and Information Technology 2010 (12):343-355.
Trust and Epistemic Cooperation.Snježana Prijić-Samaržija - 2001 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy 1 (2):147-157.
Inductive Risk and Values in Science.Heather Douglas - 2000 - Philosophy of Science 67 (4):559-579.
Trust and the Curse of Cassandra (An Exploration of the Value of Trust).Cynthia Townley - 2003 - Philosophy in the Contemporary World 10 (2):105-111.
Trust and Trustworthiness.Stephen Wright - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (3):615-627.
Climate Change, Epistemic Trust, and Expert Trustworthiness.Ben Almassi - 2012 - Ethics and the Environment 17 (2):29-49.
Trusting Experts and Epistemic Humility in Disability.Anita Ho - 2011 - International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 4 (2):102-123.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

855 ( #916 of 2,153,578 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

34 ( #9,163 of 2,153,578 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums