Expediting the Flow of Knowledge Versus Rushing into Print by Remco Heesen

A major concern for scientists is receiving credit (in the sense of recognition or prestige) for their work. Philosophers have begun to explore the epistemological consequences of this observation. Kitcher and Strevens have focused on the potential for the credit economy to promote a beneficial division of cognitive labor. In this talk I explore two potential downsides of the credit economy. First, it might encourage scientists to keep partial results they have achieved secret in order to improve their chances of claiming credit for a major breakthrough down the road. Second, it might encourage scientists to prematurely “rush into print”. Using formal models of credit-seeking scientists I argue that in most circumstances there is an incentive to share partial results, alleviating the first worry. However, I also argue that there is a structural incentive to rush into print, and a legitimate worry that this harms the epistemic standards of published work.

Philosophy Seminar Series
Date: Friday, 26 February 2016
Time: 3pm – 5pm
Venue: AS3 #05-23
Speaker: Remco Heesen
Moderator: Prof Neiladri Sinhababu

About the Speaker:

Remco Heesen is a PhD candidate in philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, having previously obtained degrees from the London School of Economics and Tilburg University. His research interests are in philosophy of science, epistemology, and rational choice theory. His recent work focuses on the social epistemology of science. More information is available at his website, http://remcoheesen.eu.

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