Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

Epistemic landscapes, optimal search and the division of cognitive labor

Alexander, J. McKenzie, Himmelreich, Johannes and Thompson, Christopher (2015) Epistemic landscapes, optimal search and the division of cognitive labor. Philosophy of Science, 82 (3). pp. 424-453. ISSN 0031-8248

PDF - Published Version
Download (761kB) | Preview
Identification Number: 10.1086/681766


This paper examines two questions about scientists’ search for knowledge. First, which search strategies generate discoveries effectively? Second, is it advantageous to diversify search strategies? We argue pace Weisberg and Muldoon (2009) that, on the first question, a search strategy that deliberately seeks novel research approaches need not be optimal. On the second question, we argue they have not shown epistemic reasons exist for the division of cognitive labor, identifying the errors that led to their conclusions. Furthermore, we generalize the epistemic landscape model, showing that one should be skeptical about the benefits of social learning in epistemically complex environments.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Philosophy of Science Association
Divisions: Philosophy, Logic and Scientific Method
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2014 13:20
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2024 17:27

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics