This chapter canvases a number of ways that issues surrounding disability intersect with socialepistemology, particularly how dominate norms concerning communication and ability can epistemically disadvantage some disabled individuals. We begin with a discussion of how socialepistemology as a field and debates concerning epistemic injustice in particular fail to take the problem of ableism seriously. In section two, we analyze the concept of an individual’s “knowledge capacity,” arguing that it can easily misconstrue the extended, (...) class='Hi'>social nature of both knowledge and capacity/ability. In section three, we turn to issues of testimony and their relation to debates concerning disability and well-being. We address how the regular lack of uptake of disabled people’s testimony can lead to a number of structural rather than merely individual epistemic injustices, and we also consider how the very nature of some disabilities make testimonial issues more complicated. In our fourth and final section, we discuss various norms of social interaction and how they can systematically disadvantage Autistic people in particular. (shrink)
This paper reviews current debates in socialepistemology about the relations between knowledge and consensus. These relations are philosophically interesting on their own, but also have practical consequences, as consensus takes an increasingly significant role in informing public decision making. The paper addresses the following questions. When is a consensus attributable to an epistemic community? Under what conditions may we legitimately infer that a consensual view is knowledge-based or otherwise epistemically justified? Should consensus be the aim of scientific (...) inquiry, and if so, what kind of consensus? How should dissent be handled? It is argued that a legitimate inference that a theory is correct from the fact that there is a scientific consensus on it requires taking into consideration both cognitive properties of the theory as well as social properties of the consensus. The last section of the paper reviews computational models of consensus formation.. (shrink)
The place of socialepistemology within contemporary philosophy, as well as its relation to other academic disciplines, is the topic of an ongoing debate. One camp within that debate holds that socialepistemology should be pursued strictly from within the perspective of individualistic analytic epistemology. In contrast, a second camp holds that socialepistemology is an interdisciplinary field that should be given priority over traditional analytic epistemology, with the specific aim of radically (...) transforming the latter to fit the results and methodology of the former. We are rather suspicious of this apparent tension, which we believe can be significantly mitigated by paying attention to certain recent advances within philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Accordingly, we attempt to explain how extended knowledge, the result of combining active externalism from contemporary philosophy of mind with contemporary epistemology, can offer an alternative conception of the future of socialepistemology. (shrink)
The Future of SocialEpistemology: A Collective Vision sets an agenda for exploring the future of what we – human beings reimagining our selves and our society – want, need and ought to know. The book examines, concretely, practically and speculatively, key ideas such as the public conduct of philosophy, models for extending and distributing knowledge, the interplay among individuals and groups, risk taking and the welfare state, and envisioning people and societies remade through the breakneck pace of (...) scientific and technological change. An international team of contributors offers a ‘collective vision’, one that speaks to what they see unfolding and how to plan and conduct the dialogue and work leading to a knowable and desirable world. The book describes and advances an intellectual agenda for the future of socialepistemology. (shrink)
Journalism and media studies lack robust theoretical concepts for studying journalistic knowledge generation. More specifically, conceptual challenges attend the emergence of big data and algorithmic sources of journalistic knowledge. A family of frameworks apt to this challenge is provided by “socialepistemology”: a young philosophical field which regards society’s participation in knowledge generation as inevitable. Socialepistemology offers the best of both worlds for journalists and media scholars: a thorough familiarity with biases and failures of obtaining (...) knowledge, and a strong orientation toward best practices in the realm of knowledge-acquisition and truth-seeking. This paper articulates the lessons of socialepistemology for two central nodes of knowledge-acquisition in contemporary journalism: human-mediated knowledge and technology-mediated knowledge. . (shrink)
Kuhn's Structure of Scientific Revolutions has been enduringly influential in philosophy of science, challenging many common presuppositions about the nature of science and the growth of scientific knowledge. However, philosophers have misunderstood Kuhn's view, treating him as a relativist or social constructionist. In this book, Brad Wray argues that Kuhn provides a useful framework for developing an epistemology of science that takes account of the constructive role that social factors play in scientific inquiry. He examines the core (...) concepts of Structure and explains the main characteristics of both Kuhn's evolutionary epistemology and his socialepistemology, relating Structure to Kuhn's developed view presented in his later writings. The discussion includes analyses of the Copernican revolution in astronomy and the plate tectonics revolution in geology. The book will be useful for scholars working in science studies, sociologists and historians of science as well as philosophers of science. (shrink)
In his new book, Knowledge: The Philosophical Quest in History, Steve Fuller returns to core themes of his program of socialepistemology that he first outlined in his 1988 book, SocialEpistemology. He develops a new, unorthodox theology and philosophy building upon his testimony in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in defense of intelligent design, leading to a call for maximal human experimentation. Beginning from the theological premise rooted in the Abrahamic religious tradition that we (...) are created in the image of God, Fuller argues that the spark of the divine within us distinguishes us from animals. I argue that Fuller’s recent work takes us away from key insights of his original work. In contrast, I advocate for a program of socialepistemology rooted in evolutionary science rather than intelligent design, emphasize a precautionary and ecological approach rather than a proactionary approach that favors risky human experimentation, and attend to our material and sociological embeddedness rather than a transhumanist repudiation of the body. (shrink)
False polarization (FP) is an interpersonal bias on judgement, the effect of which is to lead people in contexts of disagreement to overestimate the differences between their respective views. I propose to treat FP as a problem of applied socialepistemology—a barrier to reliable belief-formation in certain social domains—and to ask how best one may debias for FP. This inquiry leads more generally into questions about effective debiasing strategies; on this front, considerable empirical evidence suggests that intuitively (...) attractive strategies for debiasing are not very effective, while more effective strategies are neither intuitive nor likely to be easily implemented. The supports for more effective debiasing seem either to be inherently social and cooperative, or at least to presuppose social efforts to create physical or decision-making infrastructure for mitigating bias. The upshot, I argue, is that becoming a less biased epistemic agent is a thoroughly socialized project. (shrink)
Though many agree that we need to account for the role that social factors play in inquiry, developing a viable socialepistemology has proved to be difficult. According to Longino, it is the processes that make inquiry possible that are aptly described as "social," for they require a number of people to sustain them. These processes, she claims, not only facilitate inquiry, but also ensure that the results of inquiry are more than mere subjective opinions, and (...) thus deserve to be called "knowledge." In this paper, I (a) explain Longino's epistemology, and (b) defend it against charges that have recently been raised by Kitcher, Schmitt, and Solomon. Longino rightly recognizes that not all social factors have the same (adverse) affect on inquiry. She also recommends that we distinguish knowledge from mere opinion by reference to a social standard. (shrink)
Recent epistemology has reflected a growing interest in the social dimension of the subject. This volume presents new work by leading philosophers on a wide range of topics in socialepistemology, such as the nature of testimony, the epistemology of disagreement, and the social genealogy of the concept of knowledge.
Socialepistemology studies knowledge and justified belief acquisition through organized group cooperation. To do this, the way such group cooperation is structured has to be modeled. The obvious way of modeling a group structure is with a directed graph; unfortunately, most types of social cooperation directed at epistemological aims are variably implementable, including in their structural expression. Furthermore, the frequency with which a practice is implemented in a certain way can vary with topology. This entails that the (...) topology of social practices directed toward epistemological ends has to be modeled by a set of directed graphs, or their equivalent, together with a probability distribution over that set. In theory, this is eminently possible; however, there are considerable practical obstacles to the specification of a practice’s topology in this way. This paper examines these practical difficulties and concludes that todays sampling protocols are either far too slow to handle pratices with 10 or more participants, or else prone to produce misleading evaluations. (shrink)
The first book to provide an in-depth examination of Steve Fuller's politically oriented socialepistemology, Legitimizing Scientific Knowledge compares Fuller's socialepistemology with other interest-oriented and truth-oriented social epistemologies. The result is a carefully argued, in-depth analysis of the work of a groundbreaking philosopher of science.
This essay argues that the really useful character of reflexivity is that it enables a radical critique of representation and its conventional material and rhetorical practices. It is uniquely able to produce paradox and thus disrupt discourses by undermining authorial privilege. Because Fuller's socialepistemology is insensitive to its own reflexive implications, and limits itself to normative questions about knowledge policy, it is too limited — and limiting — to provide a context that can nurture reflexivity.
The digital divide refers to inequalities in access to information technology. One of the main reasons why the digital divide is an important issue is that access to information technology has a tremendous impact on people's ability to acquire knowledge. According to Alvin Goldman (1999), the project of socialepistemology is to identify policies and practices that have good epistemic consequences. In this paper, I argue that this sort of approach to socialepistemology can help us (...) to decide on policies for dealing with the digital divide. I argue, however, that Goldman's specific proposals for evaluating policies are not adequate. I make an alternative proposal based on the work of John Rawls (1971) on distributive justice. (shrink)
The main aim of this article is to analyze a recent text by Nenad Miščević dealing with socialepistemology in the context of Foucault's theory of knowledge. In the first part, we briefly note Miščević's thoughts on the difference between analytic and continental philosophy and his thoughts on the latter. In the second part, we analyze both Miščević’s thesis about Foucault's dual understanding of knowledge and his placement of socialepistemology as a proper framework for Foucault’s (...) concept of “new” knowledge. In opposition to Miščević's dualistic view, we are more inclined to accept Goldman’s characterization of Foucault’s position as a revisionist project in the context of standard analytical epistemology that legitimately embraces even very serious expansions of epistemological themes. Finally, we propose that Miščević’s dualistic interpretation reflects his general dualistic position concerning the previously described distinction between “continental” and “analytic” philosophy. (shrink)
Socialepistemology is a wide-ranging field of study concerned with investigating how various social factors, practices, and institutions affect our prospects of gaining and spreading knowledge. Philosophers working in socialepistemology have focused on a range of topics, including trust and testimony, the effects of social location on knowing, and whether or not groups of people can have knowledge that is not reducible to the knowledge of the individual members of the group. Much of (...) the work in socialepistemology is not concerned specifically with science and scientists but, rather, with knowing agents in general. This chapter will be concerned narrowly with the socialepistemology of scientific knowledge. After a brief discussion of Thomas Kuhn's contribution to the socialepistemology of science, the chapter addresses the following issues: the ideal epistemic community; collaboration and trust; social values and bias; and science policy and expertise. The chapter ends with a brief discussion of methodology in the socialepistemology of science. (shrink)
Fuller's program of socialepistemology engages a rhetoric of inquiry that can be usefully compared and contrasted with other discursive theories of knowledge, such as that of Richard Rorty. Resisting the model of “conversation,” Fuller strikes an activist posture and lays the groundwork for normative “knowledge policy,” in which persuasion and credibility play key roles. The image of investigation is one that overtly rejects the “storehouse” conception of knowledge and invokes the metaphors of distributive economics. Productive questions arise (...) as to how notions of creation and distribution might guide this rhetoric. (shrink)
This is a republication of 'Hegeby Zanin' in a second country for the use on international philosophy students and researchers in non English language, combines two epistemology books ; classic epistemology and socialepistemology.
This is book ll of three philosophy books in international language, formal academic philosophy source in Kurdish language. Written for non English speaking university students as a philosophy guide into epistemology/ Socialepistemology, as a resource for the use of philosophy departments and philosophy schools.
This book examines Fuller’s pioneering vision of socialepistemology. It focuses specifically on his work post-2000, which is founded in the changing conception of humanity and project into a ‘post-‘ or ‘trans-‘ human future. Chapters treat especially Fuller’s provocative response to the changing boundary conditions of the knower due to anticipated changes in humanity coming from the nanosciences, neuroscience, synthetic biology and computer technology and end on an interview with Fuller himself. While Fuller’s turn in this direction has (...) invited at least as much criticism as his earlier work, to him the result is an extended sense of the knower, or ‘humanity 2.0’, which Fuller himself identifies with transhumanism. The authors assess Fuller’s work on the following issues: Science and Technology Studies (STS), the university and intellectual life, neo-liberal political economy, intelligent design, Cosmism, Gnosticism, agent-oriented epistemology, proactionary vs precautionary principles and Welfare State 2.0. (shrink)
In the latter half of the twentieth century, philosophers of science have argued (implicitly and explicitly) that epistemically rational individuals might compose epistemically irrational groups and that, conversely, epistemically rational groups might be composed of epistemically irrational individuals. We call the conjunction of these two claims the Independence Thesis, as they together imply that methodological prescriptions for scientific communities and those for individual scientists might be logically independent of one another. We develop a formal model of scientific inquiry, define four (...) criteria for individual and group epistemic rationality, and then prove that the four definitions diverge, in the sense that individuals will be judged rational when groups are not and vice versa. We conclude by explaining implications of the inconsistency thesis for (i) descriptive history and sociology of science and (ii) normative prescriptions for scientific communities. (shrink)
Using mainly historical material fromAustralia, the paper seeks to understand earlyforms of school physical training, sport andmedical inspection as specialised means ofschooling bodies. The study adopts a socialepistemological perspective in seeking tounderstand the meaning-in-use of notions suchas physical training. It explores the socialconsequences of the practices carried out inthe name of physical training, particularly inrelation to shifts in the social regulation ofbodies over time from a mass, externalised, andcentralised form to a relatively moreindividualised, internalised and diffuse form.This focus on (...) the body is of key importance fora social epistemological study of physicaleducation because it forces us to look closelyat the practices constituting physicaleducation. (shrink)
Examining the origin and development of my views of socialepistemology, I contrast my position with the position held by analytic social epistemologists. Analytic socialepistemology (ASE) has failed to make significant progress owing, in part, to a minimal understanding of actual knowledge practices, a minimised role for philosophers in ongoing inquiry, and a focus on maintaining the status quo of epistemology as a field. As a way forward, I propose questions and future areas (...) of inquiry for a post-ASE to address. (shrink)
More than one philosopher has expressed puzzlement at the very idea of feminist epistemology. Metaphysics and epistemology, sometimes called the 'core' areas of philosophy, are supposed to be immune to questions of value and justice. Nevertheless, many philosophers have raised epistemological questions starting from feminist-motivated moral and political concerns. The field is burgeoning; a search of the Philosopher's Index reveals that although nothing was published before 1981 that was categorized as both feminist and epistemology, soon after, the (...) rate of publication in feminist epistemology rose to between 15 and 25 articles per year.1 At the same time, socialepistemology was also beginning to grow as a separate identifiable field of inquiry. (shrink)
Key to Steve Fuller’s recent defense of intelligent design is the claim that it alone can explain why science is even possible. By contrast, Fuller argues that Darwinian evolutionary theory posits a purposeless universe leaving humans with no motivation to study science and no basis for modifying an underlying reality. I argue that this view represents a retreat from insights about knowledge within Fuller’s own program of socialepistemology. I argue for a Darwinian picture of science as a (...) product of cultural evolution building upon biological capabilities and liabilities bequeathed to us by biological evolution. Dual Inheritance or Gene-Culture Coevolution Theory can help us understand how complex social institutions emerged out of distinct, if connected, processes of biological and cultural evolution. Only by understanding how the unnatural nature of modern science emerged through cultural evolution can we consider where modern science functions well or poorly. (shrink)
This chapter discusses Kuhn’s conception of the history of science by focussing on two respects in which Kuhn is an historicist historian and philosopher of science. I identify two distinct, but related, aspects of historicism in the work of Hegel and show how these are also found in Kuhn’s work. First, Kuhn held tradition to be important for understanding scientific change and that the tradition from which a scientific idea originates must be understood in evaluating that idea. This makes Kuhn (...) a historicist in a sense we may call conservative. Secondly, Kuhn held that there is a pattern to the development of science. In the light of the fact that he held scientific change to be law-like, we can call this second aspect of Kuhn’s historicism determinist. I discuss the relationship of Kuhn’s historicist historiography to the philosophical purposes he had for his history of science, namely to refute a conception of scientific progress as driven towards increasing truth by something like ‘the scientific method’. I argue that while this determinism refutes certain positivist conceptions of scientific change, it also requires internalism—the view that the causes of scientific change come from within science, not from outside. Consequently, Kuhn’s historiography of science contrasts with that implicit in much of post-Kuhnian science studies. (shrink)
Much of Ludwik Fleck’s work on the social constitution of knowledge, scientific facts, and objects of inquiry is informed by a specific use of transcendental arguments. This paper analyzes the ways in which Fleck looks for “conditions of possibilities” for the stylization and circulation of cognition. Following a brief discussion of his political agenda regarding science’s “cultural mission,” the paper offers a reconstruction of Fleck’s implicit concept of the transcendental. It is argued that Fleck addresses scientific truth as an (...) ongoing revealing and concealing of possibilities for doing research. By implication, the truth about a scientific fact is at once situated in scientific practices and transcended by a horizon of possibilities. The transcendental takes shape in Fleck’s socialepistemology as a result of the reflection upon knowledge production’s “situated transcendence.”. (shrink)
This essay forges links between Popperians and feminists by considering the connections between Donna Haraway's “situated knowledge” and Karl R. Popper's “situational logic.” It is concerned with the political commitments behind methodological issues, with the degree to which there can be a Popperian contribution to the feminist vision of a successor science, and with ways of dealing with, while not resolving, the political differences between socialist feminists and libertarian Popperians.
One of the major themes of Steve Fuller's project of socialepistemology is a reconciliation of the normative concerns of epistemologists with the empirical concerns of sociologists of knowledge. Fuller views social epistemologists as knowledge policy makers, who will provide direction for improvements in the cognitive division of labour. However, this paper argues that Fuller's conception of knowledge production and his approval of a panglossian approach to epistemology fail to provide the normative force he claims, and (...) leave us unable to identify anything epistemic about our knowledge-seeking practices. (shrink)
Shera, the library scientist, is often credited with introducing the term and concept of socialepistemology; but his idea is most profitably viewed not as a contribution to epistemology or even to the sociology of knowledge, but rather as the forerunner of a document-focused strain of socio-cognitive psychology influential in the information sciences from the 1970s onwards. In turn, the work of Shera and his colleague Egan is itself reminiscent of the psychological bibliology defined by the documentalists (...) Otlet and Rubakin in the early 20th century. (shrink)
In this article, I lend support to Miranda Fricker's work in socialepistemology from a post-Kantian point of view. In Epistemic Injustice: Power and The Ethics of Knowing, Fricker writes that, at times, social power, rather than the actual possession of knowledge, determines whether a speaker is believed (Fricker, 2007, 1-2). I will develop Miranda Fricker's project in feminist epistemology by examining the post-Kantian linguistic sign with a view to showing how G.W.F. Hegel and Jacques Derrida (...) transform the Kantian analytic/synthetic contrast in their semiologies. Epistemic injustice arises not only from cultural stereotypes and impoverished categories of identity but, also, from the dynamic way that language generates meaning. (shrink)
Margaret Egan and Jesse Hauk Shera's original conception of socialepistemology has never been defined unambiguously, or developed significantly beyond its early formulation. An interesting consequence of this lack of conceptual clarity has been the application of several interpretations of socialepistemology. This article discusses how socialepistemology was linked with the ideology of apartheid, and with racially segregated library and information services in the Republic of South Africa. In a fraudulent scientific vision for (...) librarianship, socialepistemology was assigned a role that violated its original purpose. The intellectual content of socialepistemology needs to be articulated in order to prevent further examples of such conceptual abuse. The paper ends with an attempt to do this with some suggestions based on Shera's own seminal ideas. (shrink)
When Herbert Marcuse's essay entitled “Repressive tolerance” was published in the mid-1960s it was trenchantly criticised because it was anti-democratic and defied the academic canon of value neutrality. Yet his argument is attracting renewed interest in the 21st century, particularly when, post 9/11, the thresholds or limits of tolerance are being contested. This article argues that Marcuse's original essay was concerned to problematise the dominant social understandings of tolerance at the time, which were more about insisting that individual citizens (...) tolerate government policy than governments encourage debate and dissent. The article shows how Marcuse attempted to demonstrate the social production of knowledge about tolerance, and how he diagnosed the social function performed by “impartiality” and “relativism”, and by “neutrality” and “objectivity”, which contributed to tolerance being repressive. In the sense that he was concerned about what counted socially as tolerance, and how it was socially defended and justified, his article can helpfully be conceived as an exercise in socialepistemology. (shrink)
Socialepistemology balances neoclassic and nonclassic, normative and descriptive, and veritistic and constructionist approaches. Among these approaches exist two terminologically different though (in fact) similar proposals: naturalization and socialization. Both proposals lead to a kind of interdisciplinary imperialism reducing epistemology to a ?positive science? like sociology of knowledge, social history of science, and science and technology studies. I call this attitude the ?strong version? of naturalism. How, then, can we save epistemology without indulging in purely (...) transcendental contemplations while simultaneously securing its connections to the empirical sciences that analyze knowledge in a social context? Can socialepistemology be reduced to any one or to a set of special approaches to knowledge as a completely naturalizing program? If not, is socialepistemology a kind of philosophical epistemology and what is its differencia specifica? And how is the socialepistemology related to special approaches to knowledge? In proposing a ?weak version? of naturalism?an idea of the socialepistemology based on interdisciplinary interaction?a reimagining of the concepts of ?interdisciplinarity? and ?context? is required. (shrink)
We monitor the informational environment and catch reputational cues, gather signals from our informants and develop our trustful attitudes in context. I present an epistemology of reputation as a way of using social configurations to acquire information. I review the definitions of reputation that exist in the social sciences, stress the importance of the relational/social dimension of reputation as a property of entities, and put forward a definition of reputation suitable for epistemology. I then sketch (...)social configurations that allow us to extract reputational information and some typical heuristics we use to navigate the social information around us. (shrink)
This essay argues that Alvin I. Goldman's truth-linked theory of group knowledge (veritism) omits individual components of social cognition, that all group based theories of knowledge lead to scepticism, and that if any sense is to be made of social knowledge, it must be done on individualist lines. I argue that Goldman's veritism can be reconstructed by adopting a reliabilist theory,social reliabilism. And I argue that Goldman's objections to a particular sort of consensualism are not telling. So (...) there are now two plausible and competing theories of social knowledge-social reliabilism and consensualism. (shrink)
Philosophers agree that an important part of our knowledge is acquired via testimony. One of the main objectives of socialepistemology is therefore to specify the conditions under which a hearer is justified in accepting a proposition stated by a source. Non-reductionists, who think that testimony could be considered as an a priori source of knowledge, as well as reductionists, who think that another type of justification has to be added to testimony, share a common conception about children (...) development. Non-reductionists believe that infants and children are fundamentally gullible and their gullibility could be seen as an example for justifying testimony, while reductionists believe that this gullibility is merely an exception that should be taken into account. The objective of this paper is to review contemporary literature in developmental psychology providing empirical grounds likely to clarify this philosophical debate. What emerges from current research is a more elaborated vision of children’s attitude toward testimony. Even at a very young age, children do not blindly swallow information coming from testimony; doubtful or contradictory information is automatically screened by their cognitive system. Even if they are unable to give positive reasons for the acceptance of a given testimony, young children are not gullible. Such empirical findings tend to call into question the radical opposition between reductionism and non-reductionism. (shrink)
Since the early 1980s, private, for-profit corporations have become increasingly involved in all aspects of scientific research, especially of biomedical research. In this essay, I argue that there are dangerous epistemic consequences of this trend, which should be more thoroughly examined by social epistemologists. In support of this claim, I discuss a recent episode of pharmaceutical research involving the painkiller Vioxx. I argue that the research on Vioxx was epistemically problematic and that the primary cause of these inadequacies was (...) faulty institutional arrangements. More specifically, the research was organized in such a way as to allow short-term commercial interests to compromise epistemic integrity. Thus, the Vioxx case study, in conjunction with numerous case studies developed elsewhere, provides strong reasons for believing that the privatization of the biomedical sciences is epistemically worrisome, and it suggests that the primary response to this situation should be a social, or organizational, one. What kind of organizational response would be most beneficial? I briefly discuss two prominent social epistemological proposals for how scientific research should be organized - namely those of Philip Kitcher and Helen Longino - and I suggest that they are incapable of dealing with the phenomenon of privatization. I then draw upon the Vioxx episode in order to outline an alternative suggestion for reorganizing certain aspects of pharmaceutical research. (shrink)