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Academic Superstars: Competent or Lucky?

Heesen, Remco (2017) Academic Superstars: Competent or Lucky? Synthese, 194 (11). pp. 4499-4518. ISSN 0039-7857

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I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics' preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars are in fact competent or lucky, or which group a given superstar belongs to, and hence whether stratification is overall beneficial.

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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Additional Information: This paper is published in Synthese under open access.
Keywords: Philosophy of science; Social structure of science; Formal epistemology; Social epistemology; Network formation
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: Remco Heesen
Date Deposited: 04 Jul 2018 21:58
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2023 14:15
Item ID: 14840
Journal or Publication Title: Synthese
Publisher: Springer (Springer Science+Business Media B.V.)
Official URL: 10.1007/s11229-016-1146-5
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.1007/s11229-016-1146-5
Subjects: General Issues > Decision Theory
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: November 2017
Page Range: pp. 4499-4518
Volume: 194
Number: 11
ISSN: 0039-7857

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