The Epistemic Structure and Dynamics of Social Networks
33 Pages Posted: 2 Apr 2008
Date Written: April 1, 2008
We introduce a formal language for describing epistemic states in networks at the individual (node, or agent) and interactive (multi-node) levels and at multiple epistemic levels (knowledge as well as knowledge about knowledge) and show how it allows us to represent states of belief, confidence and trust in the integrity and competence of other agents in social networks and to ask new, empirically addressable questions about commonly accepted assumptions about network processes. We use the new description language to make progress on making precise intuitions about the epistemic pre-conditions for network phenomena such as the mobilization and coordination of networks and the creation and healing of structural holes through the deliberate undermining of trust and confidence.
Keywords: Social Networks, Epistemic Networks, descriptive language
JEL Classification: G24, L20, G20, D20
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation