Foundations of social epistemics

Alvin I. Goldman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


A conception of social epistemology is articulated with links to studies of science and opinion in such disciplines as history, sociology, and political science. The conception is evaluative, though, rather than purely descriptive. Three types of evaluative approaches are examined but rejected: relativism, consensualism, and expertism. A fourth, truth-linked, approach to intellectual evaluation is then advocated: social procedures should be appraised by their propensity to foster true belief. Standards of evaluation in social epistemics would be much the same as those in individual epistemics, only the objects of evaluation would be interpersonal patterns of judgment and communication, and institutional practices that bear on opinion formation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-144
Number of pages36
Issue number1
StatePublished - Oct 1987

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Philosophy
  • Social Sciences(all)


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