Strategic Social Epistemology

Patricia Rich 研究员(University of Hamburg)
星期三, 十一月 8, 2017 - 09:00 to 11:00

The relatively new field of social epistemology is a response to increasing awareness of the importance of epistemic communities. A community's epistemic success -- and ultimately the epistemic success of its members -- will depend on how cognitive labor is divided, how individuals respond to the evidence and beliefs of others, how the community combines individuals' information to form group judgments, and so forth. I identify a costly gap in the literature: social epistemologists model agents as myopic utility maximizers who treat others like static features of the environment, but members of an epistemic community face (and are often cognizant of facing) strategic incentives because they act repeatedly over time and because the consequences of their choices both depend on and influence the choices of others. I begin to fill the gap by modeling social agents' epistemic choices using game theory (rather than single-agent decision theory), so that strategic incentives can be represented. This can enable more accurate evaluation of the rationality of epistemic choices and better explanations and predictions of the behavior of epistemic community members. I show two models, one of an information cascade and the other of scientists choosing research projects.\r\n