EPISTEME: A NEW SELF-DEFINITION

With this issue Episteme makes its debut with Cambridge University Press, after eight successful years of publication at Edinburgh University Press. The journal’s new subtitle reflects a significant expansion in scope and mission. Our previous subtitle, ‘A Journal of Social Epistemology’, reflected our earlier focus on the nascent field of social epistemology. The new subtitle, ‘A Journal of Individual and Social Epistemology’, reflects a new self-definition as a full-spectrum journal of epistemology, including the complete remit of analytic epistemology. Our special interest in social epistemology remains, but it will no longer be our sole or primary mission. We aim to publish quality epistemological work representing the broad tradition of epistemology, using both informal and formal methodologies. We also add a commitment to include a variety of interdisciplinary approaches to epistemology, drawing on such fields as cognitive science, political theory, computer modeling, and linguistics.

This inaugural issue at Cambridge seeks to exemplify and illustrate our general aims. The issue’s central focus is a three-article symposium on pragmatic encroachment, a topic intensively discussed and debated in contemporary epistemology. Chandra Sripada and Jason Stanley, in one article, and Jeremy Fantl and Matthew McGrath, in another, defend pragmatic encroachment. Jessica Brown, by contrast, is critical of it. The Sripada-Stanley article uses an interdisciplinary methodology, i.e. experimental philosophy, by now a staple of contemporary philosophy. The other full-length paper in this issue, by Richard Bradley and Christopher Thompson, exemplifies an interdisciplinary approach to social epistemology. In the spirit of the epistemic approach to democracy, it advocates a novel approach to voting based (mainly) on its epistemic merits. The Bradley-Thompson paper also exemplifies a formally oriented approach to social epistemology. The final piece in the issue is Mikkel Gerken’s critical review of Sanford Goldberg’s Relying on Others. Goldberg’s book is both a contribution to social epistemology (specifically, testimony) and to the question of how best to conceptualize ‘processes’ when working within the tradition of process reliabilism. So this topic straddles mainstream and social epistemology.

Going forward we are open to epistemological work of many varieties, including the basic epistemology topics of knowledge, justification, skepticism, evidence, rationality, and epistemic value. Approaches of relevance to these topics include (but are not limited to) evidentialism, reliabilism, internalism, externalism, contextualism, invariantism, contrastivism, virtue theory, and Bayesianism. Special domains for epistemic analysis include perception, memory, intuition, belief (categorical and graded), confirmation, modality, mathematics, and language. Within social epistemology topics of interest include testimony, peer disagreement, collective epistemology, judgment aggregation, internet epistemology, expert scientific testimony, epistemic approaches to democracy, and computer simulation of social networks. Our team of associate editors stands ready to oversee the assessment of submissions on these and related topics. The team is composed of Jessica Brown, Igor Douven, Don Fallis, Branden Fitelson, Jennifer Lackey, Christian List, Jack Lyons, Matthew McGrath, Jonathan Schaffer, Frederick Schmitt, Jonathan Weinberg, and Michael Weisberg.

Alvin Goldman