Group evidence

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Abstract

To date, most work in group epistemology has focused on group doxastic states such as belief, justified belief and knowledge. But an important question for group epistemology is the nature of group evidence. For, a subject's evidence affects whether her beliefs and actions are justified. For instance, if a subject receives evidence that these are poisonous mushrooms, then that affects whether she is justified in continuing to believe that they are not poisonous and justified in feeding them to her children. Similar points apply at the group level. If the government's evidence supports that its new policy is harming the environment, then that affects whether the government is justified in believing that its policy is not harming the environment and whether it is justified in continuing with the policy. Fortunately, the question of group evidence is beginning to receive attention (e.g. Buchak & Pettit, 2015; Hedden, 20192). Here, I argue against a summative account of group evidence and in favour of a non-summative account.

I start in the next section by sketching the assumptions about evidence that underpin the argument. In section 3, I distinguish summative and non-summative approaches to group evidence. In section 4, I argue against summative accounts of group evidence before defending a non-summative approach in sections 5–6, 5–6.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12220
Pages (from-to)164-179
JournalPhilosophical Issues
Volume32
Issue number1
Early online date17 Oct 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022

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