Dr. Josh Wakeham’s Work in Social Epistemology Appears in the Journal Sociological Theory

Dr. Josh Wakeham considers bullshit a problem of social epistemology in an article first published by Sociological Theory on 16 March 2017.

An abstract appears below. The full text of the research is available online: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0735275117692835

Bullshit is a widely recognized problem. While philosophy has given the topic some consideration, the analysis it offers is limited by an individualistic understanding of knowledge and epistemology. This article reframes bullshit as a problem of social epistemology, drawing on philosophical work on social epistemology as well as related research in psychology and the sociology of knowledge to explore the problem of epistemic vigilance. The article then draws on interactional sociology as well as Glaeser’s recent work on understanding and institutions to delineate those social forces that undermine the task of epistemic vigilance. The article then examines several different types of bullshit in light of this tension between the individual pragmatic need to have true beliefs and the social pragmatic need to get along.