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Du Bois' plan for scientific inquiry

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Social epistemologists are increasingly coming to appreciate the importance of planning out a schedule of inquiry. How we decide what will be investigated, by who and on what schedule, are hugely influential on what we are capable of coming to know or reliably conclude. Presently one prominent social technology we have for allocating resources to projects of inquiry is the peer reviewed grant competition. In this talk I will review a number of critiques of this social technology, motivate an alternative grounded in the historical practice of W.E.B. Du Bois, and point to some relative advantages of the latter course. I end by calling for an integrated HPS project that might help us explore the social epistemic properties of Du Boisian scientific resource allocation.

This talk is part of the Departmental Seminars in History and Philosophy of Science series.

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