It is often pointed out that scientific knowledge is social in character. This statement can mean several quite different things, such as that science is laden with political and moral values, that scientific knowledge is socially constructed, or that it is a public good governed by public interests. More often than not this characterization, usually offered by sociologists of science, is intended to indicate an external source of epistemic vulnerability. A less investigated but nowadays quite relevant sense in which science is social is that scientific knowledge production is not the work of individual geniuses but genuinely a collective achievement…


In the first part I have talked about where and when trust might play an ineliminable role in science, in contrast to the prevalent opinion that scientific inquiry essentially requires a skeptical attitude.

I maintained that the problematic aspect of trust is that it generates epistemic vulnerability, which we clearly should not tolerate in the context of scientific knowledge production, and not that it involves epistemic dependence — that is, reliance on external sources such as testimony for justification. I argued that trust can be irrational to the extent that it implies epistemic vulnerability, but it can also be rational…


Rational trust should be calibrated…

Trust seems to play an ineliminable role in a considerable portion of our ordinary activities of knowledge acquisition. I believe that 382 million people live in the U.S. not because I have conducted a census myself but on the basis of an internet query. Often such trust is rational, because it is adequately justified even though the justification in question is not of the sort that can count as evidence towards the truth of what is believed (my reasons for trusting the search result do not count as evidence towards the population of the U.S.). I do not have first-order…

Duygu Uygun-Tunc

Philosophy of science. Justification, truth & reliability; values; scientific method. https://twitter.com/uygun_tunc

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