Can Groups Be Epistemic Agents?
Mathiesen, Kay. (2010) Collective Epistemology. Schmid, Hans Bernard, Daniel Sirtes, and Marcel Weber Eds. Transaction Books: Piscataway, New Jersey.
21 Pages Posted: 11 Jun 2012
Date Written: January 10, 2009
In this paper, I confront an objection to group epistemic agency that has been posed in two separate papers (Meijers 1993 and McMahon 1993). They argue that groups are never “independent” epistemic agents. I discuss a number of cases where the beliefs of groups and of their members may diverge. I argue that these cases show that groups may be independent epistemic agents. We can conclude from this that work on “agent centered” epistemology should focus on groups as well as individuals.
Keywords: social epistemology, collective belief, group belief, epistemic agency
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