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What scientists know is not a function of what scientists know

Magnus, P.D. (2012) What scientists know is not a function of what scientists know. In: [2012] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 23rd Biennial Mtg (San Diego, CA) > PSA 2012 Contributed Papers.

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    Abstract

    There are two senses of `what scientists know': An individual sense in which scientists report their own opinions, and a collective sense in which one reports the state of the discipline. The latter is what is of interest for the purpose of policy and planning. Yet an expert, although she can report the former directly (her opinion on some question), can only report her considered opinion of the latter (the community opinion on the question). Formal judgement aggregation functions offer more rigorous frameworks for assessing the community opinion. They take the individual judgements of experts as inputs and yield a collective judgement as an output. This paper argues that scientific opinion is not effectively captured by a function of this kind. In order to yield consistent results, the function must take into account the inferential relationships between different judgements. Yet the inferential relationships are themselves matters to be judged by experts involving risks which must be weighed, and the significance of the risk depends on value judgements.


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    Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
    Keywords: judgement aggregation, values in science, community opinion
    Subjects: General Issues > Values In Science
    Conferences and Volumes: [2012] Philosophy of Science Assoc. 23rd Biennial Mtg (San Diego, CA) > PSA 2012 Contributed Papers
    Depositing User: P.D. Magnus
    Date Deposited: 13 Jun 2012 15:35
    Last Modified: 13 Jun 2012 15:35
    Item ID: 9162
    URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/9162

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