Epistemic Standards

Exchanging information is an integral part of our society and of what connects us. In a normal situation, we are willing to trust the information we receive from others. In doing so, we rely on the assumption that other people feel obligated to comply with certain standards: we expect each others not to lie or not to present guesses and hunches as if they were established facts.

This project looks at the foundations of such standards and their benefit to our society. It builds on a functionalist framework used in the tradition following the work of Edward Craig. This tradition emphasizes the idea that being able to recognize the reliability of information is integral to a simple and efficient exchange of such information. In addition, this project looks at applications of the perspective of talking about epistemic standards. For example, it is useful to compare epistemic standards to other standards like dress codes or industrial standards. We aim to discuss the possibility of a dissolution or weakening of our epistemic standards through the spread of disinformation and to look at how these kinds of changes can happen with respect to other standards.

Understanding standards is also related to the chair’s projects with respect to the philosophy of time. Time and its units of measurement form conventions that allow us to make intersubjective arrangements. In this respect, the idea of time as a parameter of organization can serve as an example of a social standard.



Lossau, T. (forthcoming). Knowledge as a Social Kind. Acta Analytica.


Universität Bremen
Institut für Philosophie, FB 9
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