The Scientific Approach to Epistemology

Welcome to the website for the Scientific Approach to Epistemology (SAE) network. The network is funded by a Leverhulme International Network grant and will be hosted at the University of Bristol from 2015-2018.

The scientific approach to epistemology is a novel and exciting methodology. It supplements traditional methods, such as conceptual analysis, by means of three innovative techniques: (i) formal mathematical modeling, e.g., by means of Bayesian nets; (ii) empirical experimentation; (iii) computer simulations, e.g. agent-based models. These techniques extend the range of questions that can be fruitfully asked, make the addressed problems more precise, and gauge theoretical results against empirical or simulation-based tests. Apart from incorporating insights from formal sciences such as mathematics, statistics, and computer science, the scientific approach makes (socio-)epistemological research more relevant to related disciplines, e.g. psychology or sociology.

The network comprises six partner institutions (see Network partners section), each of which has a world-class reputation for research on the topic of the project. Moreover, each of these institutions has particular technical expertise in a different formal or scientific technique that is used in epistemology. One of the main aims of the network is to disseminate this expertise amongst its partner institutions and amongst researchers outside the network who will visit our conferences and workshops.

More information on the network and its activities will be coming soon. Stay tuned.

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