Extended knowledge, the recognition heuristic, and epistemic injustice

Book chapter


Alfano, Mark and Skorburg, Joshua August 2018. Extended knowledge, the recognition heuristic, and epistemic injustice. in: J. A. Carter, A. Clark and J. Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos and D. Pritchard (ed.) Extended Epistemology United Kingdom: Oxford University Press. pp. 239 - 265
AuthorsAlfano, Mark and Skorburg, Joshua August
EditorsJ. A. Carter, A. Clark and J. Kallestrup, S. Orestis Palermos and D. Pritchard
Abstract

This chapter argues that the interaction of biased media coverage and widespread employment of the recognition heuristic can produce epistemic injustices. It explains the recognition heuristic as studied by Gigerenzer and colleagues, highlighting how some of its components are largely external to the cognitive agent. Having connected the recognition heuristic with recent work on the hypotheses of embedded, extended, and scaffolded cognition, it argues that the recognition heuristic is best understood as an instance of scaffolded cognition. It considers the double-edged sword of cognitive scaffolding before using Fricker’s (2007) concept of epistemic injustice to characterize the nature and harm of these false inferences, emphasizing the Darfur Inference. Finally, it uses data-mining and an empirical study to show how Gigerenzer’s population estimation task is liable to produce Darfur Inferences. It ends with some speculative remarks on more important Darfur Inferences, and how to avoid them by scaffolding better.

Keywordsextended knowledge; media; epistemic injustices; recognition heuristic; Darfur
Page range239 - 265
Year2018
Book titleExtended Epistemology
PublisherOxford University Press
Place of publicationUnited Kingdom
ISBN9780198769811
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1093/oso/9780198769811.003.0014
Research GroupDianoia Institute of Philosophy
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