Real Fakes: The Epistemology of Online Misinformation

Philosophy and Technology 35 (3):1-24 (2022)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Many of our beliefs are acquired online. Online epistemic environments are replete with fake news, fake science, fake photographs and videos, and fake people in the form of trolls and social bots. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the threat that such online fakes pose to the acquisition of knowledge. I argue that fakes can interfere with one or more of the truth, belief, and warrant conditions on knowledge. I devote most of my attention to the effects of online fakes on satisfaction of the warrant condition, as these have received comparatively little attention. I consider three accounts of the conditions under which fakes compromise the warrant condition. I argue for the third of these accounts, according to which the propensity of fakes to exist in an environment threatens warrant acquisition in that environment. Finally, I consider some limitations on the epistemic threat of fakes and suggest some strategies by which this threat can be mitigated.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,323

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

(Fake?) News Alert: Intellectual Virtues Required for Online Knowledge!Paul Smart - 2018 - Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7 (2):45–55.
The Problem of Fake News.M. R. X. Dentith - 2016 - Public Reason 8 (1-2):65-79.
Fake News: A Definition.Axel Gelfert - 2018 - Informal Logic 38 (1):84-117.
What is fake news?M. R. X. Dentith - 2018 - University of Bucharest Review (2):24-34.
Fake News and Partisan Epistemology.Regina Rini - 2017 - Kennedy Institute of Ethics Journal 27 (S2):43-64.
Das Zeugnis anderer.Nicola Mößner - 2019 - In Martin Grajner & Guido Melchior (eds.), Handbuch Erkenntnistheorie. Stuttgart: Metzler. pp. 136-144.
Epistemologia delle fake news.Tommaso Piazza & Michel Croce - 2019 - Sistemi Intelligenti 31 (3):433-461.
Deepfakes, Intellectual Cynics, and the Cultivation of Digital Sensibility.Taylor Matthews - 2022 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 92:67-85.
Consuming Fake News: Can We Do Any Better?Michel Croce & Tommaso Piazza - 2023 - Social Epistemology 37 (2):232-241.


Added to PP

80 (#210,132)

6 months
38 (#99,184)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Keith Raymond Harris
University of Vienna

References found in this work

Knowledge and its limits.Timothy Williamson - 2000 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Philosophical explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Reason, truth, and history.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Knowledge in a social world.Alvin I. Goldman - 1991 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Reason, Truth and History.Hilary Putnam - 1981 - New York: Cambridge University Press.

View all 65 references / Add more references