Truth approximation, social epistemology, and opinion dynamics

Douven, I. and Kelp, C. (2011) Truth approximation, social epistemology, and opinion dynamics. Erkenntnis, 75(2), pp. 271-283. (doi: 10.1007/s10670-011-9295-x)

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This paper highlights some connections between work on truth approximation and work in social epistemology, in particular work on peer disagreement. In some of the literature on truth approximation, questions have been addressed concerning the efficiency of research strategies for approximating the truth. So far, social aspects of research strategies have not received any attention in this context. Recent findings in the field of opinion dynamics suggest that this is a mistake. How scientists exchange and take into account information about each others’ beliefs may greatly influence the accuracy and speed with which the scientific community as a whole approximates the truth. On the other hand, social epistemologists concerned with peer disagreement have so far neglected the question of how practices of responding to disagreements with peers fare with respect to the goal of approximating the truth. Again, work on opinion dynamics shows that this may be a mistake, and that how we ought to respond to disagreements with our peers may depend on the specific purposes of our investigations.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Kelp, Professor Christoph
Authors: Douven, I., and Kelp, C.
Subjects:B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
College/School:College of Arts & Humanities > School of Humanities > Philosophy
Journal Name:Erkenntnis
ISSN (Online):1572-8420
Published Online:04 August 2011
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2011 The Authors
First Published:First published in Erkenntnis 75(2): 271-283
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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