HFIA03541U FILO, Social epistemology 1: Introduction to Social Epistemology: Collective Wisdom

Årgang 2013/2014
Engelsk titel

Social epistemology 1: Introduction to Social Epistemology: Collective Wisdom

Kandidatuddannelse i Filosofi
The course will provide an introduction to the rapidly emerging field of social epistemology by way of an in depth discussion of the theoretical foundation of collective wisdom. Collective wisdom is the idea that diverse groups of cognitive agents can cognitively outperform even the best experts, at least in an important range of cases. Various reasons why this is so has been suggested, among them that a collective of agents can bring a variety of different perspectives to bear on a particular problem, that they can exploit certain advantageous divisions of labour, or that aggregation of many voices increases the cognitive power of the aggregate voice. So, diverse groups of cognitive agents are performing better than individuals and homogeneous groups, be it in science and academia, in organisations, in politics, or in public democratic deliberation. The advantages of collective wisdom has recently been explored and defended in the context of deliberative democracy by Helen Landemore, and the course will start with a close reading of Landemore's contribution in her book Democratic Reason: Politics, Collective Intelligence, and the Rule of the Many (Princeton University Press 2013). In the second part of the course we turn to adjecent foundational questions in social epistemology

Readings will primarily be selected form Landemore's book, and from Goldman and Whitcomb (eds): Social Epistemology, Oxford Universty Press, 2011, and Landemore and Elster (eds): Collective Wisdom: Principles and Mechanisms, Cambridge University Press, 2012. The organization of the course will suggest that participants write a midterm essay on problems of collective wisdom. The midterm paper will receive feedback midway in the course, and will form the core of the final term paper.

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