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The Epistemic Life of GroupsEssays in the Epistemology of Collectives$
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Michael S. Brady and Miranda Fricker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198759645

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759645.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 02 August 2021

Collaborative Research, Scientific Communities, and the Social Diffusion of Trustworthiness

Collaborative Research, Scientific Communities, and the Social Diffusion of Trustworthiness

Chapter:
(p.218) 11 Collaborative Research, Scientific Communities, and the Social Diffusion of Trustworthiness
Source:
The Epistemic Life of Groups
Author(s):

Torsten Wilholt

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198759645.003.0012

The main thesis of this chapter is that when we trust the results of scientific research, that trust is inevitably directed at least in part at collective bodies rather than at single researchers. The chapter argues that the trustworthiness of a collaborative research group does not supervene on the trustworthiness of its individual members. In addition, the social diffusion of trustworthiness requires an assessment of the trustworthiness of the respective research community as a whole. Communities play an essential role in the epistemic quality management of science. This is supported by consideration of what is desirable in a method of inquiry: the reliability of positive results, the reliability of negative results, and the method’s power. Every methodological choice involves a trade-off between these three dimensions, and we must trust that the research community has set the limitations on this in a suitable way.

Keywords:   collaboration, research, communities, diffusion, trustworthiness, social, inquiry, reliability, power, methodological

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