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Topological variability of collectives and its import for social epistemology

Masterton, George LU (2014) In Synthese 191(11). p.2433-2443
Abstract
Social epistemology 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... (More)
Social epistemology 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. (Less)
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author
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Social networks, Social epistemology, Directed graph, Graph isomorphism
in
Synthese
volume
191
issue
11
pages
2433 - 2443
publisher
Springer
external identifiers
  • wos:000337053600005
  • scopus:84896413959
ISSN
0039-7857
DOI
10.1007/s11229-014-0433-2
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
42e7d196-f082-4d55-9dbc-a79e8d9f6c86 (old id 4549104)
date added to LUP
2014-07-17 09:11:20
date last changed
2017-01-01 06:16:34
@article{42e7d196-f082-4d55-9dbc-a79e8d9f6c86,
  abstract     = {Social epistemology 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.},
  author       = {Masterton, George},
  issn         = {0039-7857},
  keyword      = {Social networks,Social epistemology,Directed graph,Graph isomorphism},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {11},
  pages        = {2433--2443},
  publisher    = {Springer},
  series       = {Synthese},
  title        = {Topological variability of collectives and its import for social epistemology},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11229-014-0433-2},
  volume       = {191},
  year         = {2014},
}