Erik J OlssonProfessor
My main areas of research are epistemology, philosophy of science and philosopical logic. My most cited research concerns the concept of coherence in epistemology, where coherence is understood as the property a system of beliefs exhibits if its elements mutually support each other. Can we from the fact that a system is coherent conclude that the beliefs it contains are probably true? In 2005, I published a book with Oxford Universit Press on this called Against Coherence: Truth, Probability, and Justification, in which I argued for a negative answer.
My current research concerns mostly:
(1)how knowledge arises and is spread in social networks, and
(2) the value of knowledge.
As for (1), I am currently studying the flow of beliefs in social networks by means of computer simulation. The software that has been developed by theoretical philosophy in Lund for that purpose is called Laputa. Our approach can be applied in the evaluation of social arrangments with regard to how well they promote the disemination of true beliefs. Concerning (2) I have, partly in collaboration with Alvin I. Goldman (Rutgers University), suggested that knowledge is repeatable and stable. I am also inquiring into how knowledge producing processes are categorized (the generality problem), which I have connected to the so-called basic level theory of cognitive psychology.