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Endogenous Epistemic Factionalization

Weatherall, James Owen and O'Connor, Cailin (2020) Endogenous Epistemic Factionalization. [Preprint]

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Why do people who disagree about one subject tend to disagree about other subjects as well? In this paper, we introduce a network epistemology model to explore this phenomenon of “epistemic factionization”. Agents attempt to discover the truth about multiple beliefs by testing the world and sharing evidence gathered. But agents tend to mistrust evidence shared by those who do not hold similar beliefs. This mistrust leads to the endogenous emergence of factions of agents with multiple, highly correlated, polarized beliefs.

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Item Type: Preprint
Weatherall, James
Additional Information: Forthcoming in Synthese
Keywords: polarization; factionalization; network epistemology; correlated beliefs
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Depositing User: James Owen Weatherall
Date Deposited: 01 May 2020 06:06
Last Modified: 01 May 2020 06:06
Item ID: 17132
Subjects: General Issues > Science and Society
General Issues > Science and Policy
Date: 2020

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