Hostname: page-component-8448b6f56d-qsmjn Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-04-15T06:28:24.977Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

The Epistemic Significance of Social Pressure

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  12 December 2022

Hrishikesh Joshi*
Affiliation:
Bowling Green State University, Department of Philosophy Bowling Green, Ohio, United States
*

Abstract

This paper argues for the existence of a certain type of defeater for one’s belief that P—the presence of social incentives not to share evidence against P. Such pressure makes it relatively likely that there is unpossessed evidence that would provide defeaters for P because it makes it likely that the evidence we have is a lopsided subset. This offers, I suggest, a rational reconstruction of a core strand of argument in Mill’s On Liberty. A consequence of the argument is that on morally and politically laden issues in particular, a high degree of doxastic openness might be appropriate.

Type
Article
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of Canadian Journal of Philosophy

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Asch, Solomon E. 1955. “Opinions and Social Pressure.” Scientific American 193 (5): 3135. https://doi.org/10.1038/scientificamerican1155-31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Axelrod, Robert. 1984. The Evolution of Cooperation. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
Ballantyne, Nathan. 2015. “The Significance of Unpossessed Evidence.” The Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260): 315–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ballantyne, Nathan. 2019a. “Epistemic Trespassing.” Mind 128 (510): 367–95.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ballantyne, Nathan. 2019b. Knowing Our Limits. New York: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Ballarini, Christina, and Sloman, Steven A.. 2017. “Reasons and the ‘Motivated Numeracy Effect.’” Proceedings of the 39th Annual Meeting of the Cognitive Science Society, 1580–85.Google Scholar
Begby, Endre. 2021. “Evidential Preemption.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (3): 515–30.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Bond, Rod, and Smith, Peter B.. 1996. “Culture and Conformity: A Meta-Analysis of Studies Using Asch’s Line Judgment Task.” Psychological Bulletin 119 (1): 111–37.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Buchanan, Allen. 2004. “Political Liberalism and Social Epistemology.” Philosophy & Public Affairs 32 (2): 95130.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Clifford, W. K. 1877. “The Ethics of Belief.” Contemporary Review 29: 289309.Google Scholar
Feldman, Richard. 2006. “Epistemological Puzzles about Disagreement.” In Epistemology Futures, 216–36. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Gampa, Anup, Wojcik, Sean, Motyl, Matt, Nosek, Brian, and Ditto, Peter. 2019. “(Ideo)Logical Reasoning: Ideology Impairs Sound Reasoning.” Social Psychological and Personality Science 10 (8): 1075–83.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Goldman, Alvin. 1999. Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hannon, Michael. 2022. “Are Knowledgeable Voters Better Voters?Politics, Philosophy & Economics 21 (1): 2954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Hardwig, John. 1991. “The Role of Trust in Knowledge.” The Journal of Philosophy 88 (12): 693708.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Joshi, Hrishikesh. 2021. Why It’s OK to Speak Your Mind. New York: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Kahan, Dan, and Peters, Ellen. 2017. “Rumors of the ‘Nonreplication’ of the ‘Motivated Numeracy Effect’ Are Greatly Exaggerated.” Yale Law & Economics Research Paper No. 584. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3026941.Google Scholar
Kahan, Dan, Peters, Ellen, Dawson, Erica Cantrell, and Slovic, Paul. 2017. “Motivated Numeracy and Enlightened Self-Government.” Behavioural Public Policy 1 (1): 5486.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Larsen, Knud S. 1990. “The Asch Conformity Experiment: Replication and Transhistorical Comparisons.” Journal of Social Behavior & Personality 5 (4): 163–68.Google Scholar
Longino, Helen. 1990. Science as Social Knowledge. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Mercier, Hugo. 2020. Not Born Yesterday: The Science of Who We Trust and What We Believe. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
Mercier, Hugo, and Sperber, Dan. 2017. The Enigma of Reason. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
Mill, John Stuart. 2008. On Liberty and Other Essays. Edited by Gray, John. Oxford, New York: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
Nguyen, C. Thi. 2018. “Echo Chambers and Epistemic Bubbles.” Episteme. https://doi.org/10.1017/epi.2018.32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Nietzsche, Friedrich. 1954. “Human, All-Too-Human.” In The Portable Nietzsche, translated by Kaufmann, Walter. New York: Penguin Books.Google Scholar
Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth. 1974. “The Spiral of Silence: A Theory of Public Opinion.” Journal of Communication 24 (2): 4351. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1460-2466.1974.tb00367.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Noelle-Neumann, Elisabeth. 1984. The Spiral of Silence. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
Pauli, Benjamin J. 2020. “The Flint Water Crisis.” Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water 7 (3): e1420. https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1420.Google Scholar
Persson, Emil, Andersson, David, Koppel, Lina, Västfjäll, Daniel, and Tinghög, Gustav. 2021. “A Preregistered Replication of Motivated Numeracy.” Cognition 214. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cognition.2021.104768.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Simpson, Robert Mark. 2020. “The Relation between Academic Freedom and Free Speech.” Ethics 130 (3): 287319.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sloman, Steven A., and Fernbach, Philip. 2017. The Knowledge Illusion: Why We Never Think Alone. New York: Riverhead Books.Google Scholar
Sperber, Dan, Clement, Fabrice, Heintz, Christophe, Mascaro, Oliver, Mercier, Hugo, Origgi, Gloria, and Wilson, Dierdre. 2010. “Epistemic Vigilance.” Mind & Language 25 (4): 359–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stasser, Garold, Abele, Susanne, and Parsons, Sandra Vaughan. 2012. “Information Flow and Influence in Collective Choice.” Group Processes & Intergroup Relations 15 (5): 619–35.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stasser, Garold, and Titus, William. 1985. “Pooling of Unshared Information in Group Decision Making: Biased Information Sampling During Discussion.” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 48 (6): 1467–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Stasser, Garold, and Titus, William. 2003. “Hidden Profiles: A Brief History.” Psychological Inquiry 14 (3/4): 304–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Street, Sharon. 2006. “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.” Philosophical Studies 127 (1): 109–66.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Su, Siyan. 2022. “Updating Politicized Beliefs: How Motivated Reasoning Contributes to Polarization.” Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics 96.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Sunstein, Cass. 2019. Conformity. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
Tetlock, Philip E., and Gardner, Dan. 2015. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction. New York: Crown.Google Scholar
Trouche, Emmanuel, Johansson, Petter, Hall, Lars, and Mercier, Hugo. 2016. “The Selective Laziness of Reasoning.” Cognitive Science 40 (8): 2122–36.CrossRefGoogle ScholarPubMed
Vavova, Katia. 2018. “Irrelevant Influences.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research XCVI (1). https://doi.org/10.1111/phpr.12297.Google Scholar