Saturday, April 16, 2005

Information Ethics Roundtable

I'm commenting on a paper at the Information Ethics Roundtable on April 29th. To prepare, I've started philosopher Alvin Goldman's book Pathways to Knowledge. Goldman is an academic philosopher in the analytic tradition. His work has a lot to teach librarians interested in the evaluation of information. Look at the interesting questions he raises:
No single person can possibly attain all the relevant forms of expertise; each of us must rely on others. But on whom, exactly, should we rely? Which experts, or alleged experts, should be trusted? Unfortunately, so-called experts often disagree, and when they do, they cannot all be right. Which one should the novice or layperson trust? Upon hearing two rival experts offer conflicting viewpoints, can the novice justifiably trust either one? How can such justified belief be attained? After all, novices often struggle to get even a bare comprehension of what experts are saying. When they do understand them, how can they appraise the relative merits of their esoteric arguments? This is, I believe, a fundamental problem in social epistemology. Preface, p x.


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