A Social Epistemology of Research Groups

A Social Epistemology of Research Groups

by Susann Wagenknecht

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781137524096
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 01/03/2017
Series: New Directions in the Philosophy of Science
Edition description: 1st ed. 2016
Pages: 187
Product dimensions: 5.83(w) x 8.27(h) x (d)

About the Author

Susann Wagenknecht is an interdisciplinary researcher at the intersection of philosophy of science, social epistemology, and qualitative empirical methods. She received her PhD from Aarhus University, Denmark, in 2014. Since then, she has published on epistemic trust and dependence in Episteme and Social Epistemology; and co-edited together with Hanne Andersen and Nancy J. Nersessian the volume Empirical Philosophy of Science (Springer, 2015).

Table of Contents

Contents


Acknowledgments v


1 Introduction 3


1.1 A social epistemology of research groups . . . . . . . . . . . . 6


1.2 Empirical insight for philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10


1.3 Scientists as reflective practitioners . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13


1.4 Chapter overview . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15


2 Research groups 19


2.1 The empirical phenomenon . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21



2.2 Communities and research groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26


2.3 Interdisciplinary research groups . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30


2.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34


3 Method 35


3.1 Engaging empirical insight in philosophy . . . . . . . . . . . . 36


3.2 A qualitative case study . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43


vii


3.3 Interviewing scientists . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 51


3.4 Structuring empirical insights . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 56


3.5 A short note on writing empirical philosophy . . . . . . . . . . 60


4 The planetary science group 63


4.1 Tuesday morning meetings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 65


4.2 Group characterization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 70


4.3 Individual interviews . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 75


4.3.1 Adam: ‘I could work alone’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 76


4.3.2 Laura: ‘You have to be a knowledge base in your own’ 80


5 The molecular biology laboratory 85


5.1 Wednesday mornings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 86


5.2 Group characterization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 90


5.3 Interview voices . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


5.3.1 Johan: ‘I’m the memory’ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 98


5.3.2 Martin: ‘The template was not there’ . . . . . . . . . . 102


6 Division of labor 107


6.1 Philosophical perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 108


6.2 Complementary collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 114


6.3 Parallel collaboration . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 121


6.4 Comparison . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 127


6.5 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 130


7 Epistemic dependence 133


7.1 Theoretical Groundwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 136


7.1.1 Belief–belief relations and beyond . . . . . . . . . . . . 136


7.1.2 First- and second-order reasons . . . . . . . . . . . . . 139


7.2 Epistemic asymmetries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 142


7.3 Opaque and translucent dependence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 145


7.3.1 Opaque dependence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 146


7.3.2 Translucent dependence . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 150


7.3.3 The gray zone . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 154


7.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 160


8 Epistemic trust 163


8.1 Theoretical groundwork . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 164


8.2 The tentative character of epistemic trust . . . . . . . . . . . . 169


8.3 Building trust through dialoging . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 176


8.4 Resorting to impersonal trust . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 181


8.5 Minimizing trust in co-authorship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 184


8.6 By comparison: the molecular biology lab . . . . . . . . . . . 188


8.7 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 191


9 Collaboration and collective knowledge 195


9.1 Approaches to collective knowledge . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 196


9.2 Non-summative belief and joint commitment . . . . . . . . . . 198


9.3 Irreducibly collective justification . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 209


1


9.4 Conclusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 220


10 Concluding remarks 221


Notes 227


Bibliography 235


Subject index 261


Author index 265

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