Webs of knowledge – an afterthought

In this week’s Unpredictable Patterns I explored the idea of how trust, truth and knowledge relate to each-other. After having written that I came upon this article by Brian Leiter on epistemic authorities and the regulation of speech — which is another kind of take on the same issue.

Leiter suggests that empiricism increasingly is hijacked by propagandists by the clever use of anecdotal evidence – providing us with what seems like evidence as an alternative to trusting a known authorities view — we succumb to then thinking that this sensory evidence trumps even really entrenched epistemic authorities (think the example of the waving flag on the moon as evidence that the moonlanding was staged on earth where there is wind, and an atmosphere).

Leiter’s response is interesting — he thinks we need new norms on knowledge and speech to enable us to navigate the challenges he believes that the Internet brings.

Read more here.

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