About SERG – University of Copenhagen

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Social Epistemology Research Group > About SERG

The Social Epistemology Research Group

The Social Epistemology Research Group (SERG) was founded in 2009 at the University of Copenhagen. The group is committed to pursuing research in social epistemology, broadly construed. Our research not only cuts across several sub-fields of philosophy, but also interacts with a number of empirical disciplines. In consequence, SERG strives to initiate and foster foundational philosophical research as well as collaborative inter-disciplinary inquiries.

SERG's specific approach may be characterized by the questions posed, motivations invoked, and methods used in our research:

  • Research Questions: We are interested in widening the often individualistic focus of epistemology to include investigations of knowledge as a result of social interaction. Our research questions include: "How can we tell whom to trust in a disagreement?", "How should real-world disagreements (e.g., between different political groups) be conceptualized?", "What is the proper role of scientific expertise in democratic decision making?", and "Are the features typically associated with liberal democracies, such as freedom of speech, truth-conducive?"

  • Research Motivations: Within SERG, we seek to answer these and similar questions against the background of two motivations. First, we attempt to acquire a better foundational understanding of the phenomena in question. Second, we strive to say something constructive about how we may go about setting up institutions in epistemologically fruitful ways. As such, much of the research conducted within SERG is pursued with a desire to answer questions of relevance outside of academia.

  • Research Methods: Given the cross-scientific nature of the questions posed, SERG utilizes both the traditional tools of analytical philosophy and experimental results from such diverse fields as cognitive science, social psychology, behavioral economic, and agent-based simulation modeling.

The above is a concise and non-exhaustive overview of the questions, motivations, and methods falling under the umbrella of SERG. We encourage you to explore the details of the particular research projects conducted by the group and its affiliates.