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In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman presents a framework to quantify the epistemic effects that various policies, procedures, and behaviors can have on a group of agents. In this essay, I show that the framework requires some modifications when applied to agents with credences. The required modifications carry with them an interesting consequence, namely, that any group whose members disagree can become more accurate by forming a consensus through averaging their credences. I sketch a way that this result can be used to show that individual norms of rationality and group norms of rationality can dictate conflicting behaviors for the members of some groups. I conclude by discussing how some of the assumptions used to generate the consensus result might be loosened.

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Richard Foley . 1987. The Theory of Epistemic Rationality. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

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Conor Mayo-Wilson , Kevin J.S. Zollman , and David Danks . 2011. ‘The Independence Thesis: When Individual and Social Epistemology Diverge.’ Philosophy of Science, 78: 653–77.

Joel Predd , Robert Seiringer , Elliott H. Lieb , Daniel Osherson , H. Vincent Poor , and Sanjeev Kulkarni . 2009. ‘Probabilistic Coherence and Proper Scoring Rules.’ IEEE Transactions on Information Theory, 55: 4786–92.

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  • ISSN: 1742-3600
  • EISSN: 1750-0117
  • URL: /core/journals/episteme
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