Is Epistemic Trust of Veritistic Value?
Epistemic trust figures prominently in our socio-cognitive practices. By assigning different (relative) degrees of competence to agents, we distinguish between experts and novices and determine the trustworthiness of testimony. This paper probes the claim that epistemic trust furthers our epistemic enterprise. More specifically, it assesses the veritistic value of competence attribution in an epistemic community, i.e., in a group of agents that collaboratively seek to track down the truth. The results, obtained by simulating opinion dynamics, tend to subvert the very idea that competence ascription is essential for the functioning of epistemic collaboration and hence veritistically valuable. On the contrary, we find that, in specific circumstances at least, epistemic trust may prevent a community from finding the truth effectively.
Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XV (2013) 2
EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Gregor Betz, Michael Baurmann, Rainer Cramm, "Is Epistemic Trust of Veritistic Value?", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XV (2013) 2, pp. 25–41.