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Collective Epistemic Responsibility: a Preventionist Account

Fleisher, Will and Šešelja, Dunja (2020) Collective Epistemic Responsibility: a Preventionist Account. [Preprint]


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If a given scientific community faces an epistemic harm that could be prevented only by a collective action, what kind of epistemic duties fall on each of the given scientists? In this paper we propose an account of collective epistemic responsibility, which addresses this and related questions. Building on Hindriks’ (2018) account of collective moral responsibility, we introduce the Epistemic Duty to Join Forces as a norm consisting of two sub-norms: first, a duty of individuals to approach other relevant agents raising awareness about the epistemic harm, expressing willingness to prevent it, and encouraging others to do the same; and second, a duty of those who have expressed their commitment to join forces, to prevent the given epistemic harm. We argue that our account has a distinctly epistemic character, irreducible to the accounts of collective moral responsibility. As such, it fills an important gap in the literature on epistemic responsibility. In contrast to previous accounts of epistemic responsibility, which have been concerned with the conditions of responsible belief formation and holding, our} approach concerns responsibility for other kinds of performances, specifically those aimed at preventing epistemic harms.

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Item Type: Preprint
Šešelja, Dunjad.seselja@tue.nl0000-0001-5679-5787
Keywords: epistemic responsibility, collective responsibility, epistemic harm
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Dr. Dunja Šešelja
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2020 17:23
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2020 17:23
Item ID: 17003
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: 2020

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