Philosophy of the Social Sciences 45 (6):568-595 (2015)

Mikkel Gerken
University of Southern Denmark
What is the epistemic position that a scientist must be in vis-à-vis a proposition, p, to be in a good enough epistemic position to assert that p to a fellow scientist within the scientific process? My aim is to provide an answer to this question and, more generally, to connect the epistemological debates about the epistemic norms of assertion to the debates about the nature of the scientific process. The question is important because science is a collaborative enterprise based on a division of labor. It has even been suggested that such collaboration is a part of the scientific method. However, scientific collaboration depends upon communication between scientists—that is, intra-scientific testimony. After distinguishing some different kinds of intra-scientific testimony, I provide a specific proposal for an epistemic norm of assertion that generally governs such testimony. I argue that the proposal aligns with the requirements of three scientific virtues—replicability, revisability, and accountability. The discussion of replicability considers a prominent debate in the social and cognitive sciences. In conclusion, I consider some of the wider questions raised by characterizing scientific collaboration, division of labor, and more generally, scientific method via intra-scientific testimony.
Keywords Intra-scientific testimony  Scientific collaboration  Norms of assertion  Division of labor  Accountability  Replicability
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DOI 10.1177/0048393115600527
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References found in this work BETA

Thinking, Fast and Slow.Daniel Kahneman - 2011 - New York: New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.
Studies in the Way of Words.Herbert Paul Grice - 1989 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Science, Policy, and the Value-Free Ideal.Heather Douglas - 2009 - University of Pittsburgh Press.
The Scientific Image.C. Van Fraassen Bas - 1980 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Knowledge and Its Limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - Philosophy 76 (297):460-464.

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Citations of this work BETA

Endorsement and Assertion.Will Fleisher - 2021 - Noûs 55 (2):363-384.
Truth‐Sensitivity and Folk Epistemology.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (1):3-25.
How to balance Balanced Reporting and Reliable Reporting.Mikkel Gerken - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):3117-3142.
Expert Trespassing Testimony and the Ethics of Science Communication.Mikkel Gerken - 2018 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 49 (3):299-318.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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