Collective Epistemic Goals

Social Epistemology, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2007

16 Pages Posted: 20 Nov 2009

Date Written: December 11, 2006


We all pursue epistemic goals as individuals. But we also pursue collective epistemic goals. In the case of many groups to which we belong, we want each member of the group – and sometimes even the group itself – to have as many true beliefs as possible and as few false beliefs as possible. In this paper, I respond to the main objections to the very idea of such collective epistemic goals. Furthermore, I describe the various ways that our collective epistemic goals can come into conflict with each other. And I argue that we must appeal to pragmatic considerations in order to resolve such conflicts.

Keywords: Collectives, Epistemic Goals, Distribution of Knowledge, Group Belief

Suggested Citation

Fallis, Don, Collective Epistemic Goals (December 11, 2006). Social Epistemology, Vol. 21, No. 3, July 2007. Available at SSRN:

Don Fallis (Contact Author)

Northeastern University ( email )

360 Huntington Ave,
Boston, MA 02115
United States


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