The problem of intransigently biased agents

Bennett Holman, Justin P. Bruner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In recent years the social nature of scientific inquiry has generated considerable interest. We examine the effect of an epistemically impure agent on a community of honest truth seekers. Extending a formal model of network epistemology pioneered by Zollman, we conclude that an intransigently biased agent prevents the community from ever converging to the truth. We explore two solutions to this problem, including a novel procedure for endogenous network formation in which agents choose whom to trust. We contend that our model nicely captures aspects of current problems in medical research and gesture at some morals for medical epistemology more generally.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)956-968
Number of pages13
JournalPhilosophy of Science
Volume82
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Dec

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Philosophy
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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