Workshop on Computational Models in Social Epistemology (2023)

Table of Contents

This is the homepage of the Workshop on Computational Models in Social Epistemology, the second workshop of the DFG Research Network “Simulations of Scientific Inquiry”.


When and Where?

December 6-8, 2023
Ruhr University Bochum, Wasserstraße 221 (4th floor, room 4/20); we welcome online attendance as well (please register to obtain the link)

Keynote speakers

Epistemology of Models and Simulations

  • Wybo Houkes (Eindhoven University of Technology)
  • Paul Hoyningen-Huene (Leibniz University Hannover)

Computational Models of Epistemic Communities

  • Gregor Betz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology)
  • Ulrike Hahn (Birbeck University of London)
  • Rainer Hegselmann (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management)
  • Samuli Reijula (University of Helsinki)

Program Committee

  • Dominik Klein (Utrecht University)
  • Carlo Martini (Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele / University of Helsinki)
  • Christoph Merdes (Friedrich-Alexander University of Erlangen)
  • Aydin Mohseni (University of Pennsylvania)
  • Hannah Rubin (University of Missouri)
  • Jingyi Wu (London School of Economics)

Organizing Committee

Workshop chairs

  • Matteo Michelini (TU Eindhoven, Ruhr University Bochum)
  • Dunja Šešelja (Ruhr University Bochum, TU Eindhoven)
  • Soong Yoo (Ruhr University Bochum)

Local organizing committee

  • Christiane Dahl
  • Jessica Krumhus
  • Lisa Michajlova

Call for Abstracts (closed)

Over the last decade computational models have become increasingly popular across philosophical disciplines: from ethics and political philosophy to philosophy of science and social epistemology. They have been used to investigate and support philosophical arguments, such as the evolution of social norms, emergence of cooperation, efficiency of scientific inquiry, etc. Within social epistemology and philosophy of science, computational models have contributed to the rapid growth of the field to tackle topics such as opinion dynamics in collective research, division of cognitive labor, social bubbles and networks of epistemic trust, argumentation strategies, etc. 

This workshop aims to provide a forum for discussing frontier of research on computational models in philosophy, with the special focus on models of epistemic communities. 

Relevant topics include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Models of deliberation
  • Models for social, cognitive and theoretical diversity
  • Models of disagreement, dissent and polarization
  • Models of scientific inquiry
  • Computational accounts of ‘wisdom of the crowds’, groupthink and expertise
  • Modeling bias and ignorance in groups
  • Modeling propaganda, misinformation, and fake news
  • Epistemology of models and simulations
  • New computational methods

Workshop Registration


Click on the for a short abstract.

Day 1 (Wed, Dec 6th)

Time Event
13:45-14:00 Registration
14:00-15:00 [Keynote 1] Wybo Houkes (Eindhoven University of Technology): A fragility of goodness? Robustness analysis in modelling practices  
15:00-15:30 coffee break
15:30-16:30 [Keynote 2] Paul Hoyningen (Leibniz Universität Hannover): How do robust abstract economic models explain?  
16:30-17:00 coffee break
17:00-18:00 [Keynote 3] Ulrike Hahn: Why we need NormAN: Normative Argument Exchange Across Networks  

Day 2 (Thu, Dec 7)

Time Event
10:00-11:00 [Keynote 4] Rainer Hegselmann (Frankfurt School of Finance & Management): Two-armed bandits versus Carnapian truth seekers and epistemic free riders with bounded confidence  
11:00-11:30 coffee break
11:30-12:05 Kevin Zollman (Carnegie Mellon University): Reflections on Independence Thesis  
12:05-12:40 Christoph Merdes (Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen-Nürnberg): A Bayesian Analysis of Testimonial Injustice. Credibility Excess and Attention Deficits  
12:40-14:15 Lunch break
14:15-14:50 Matthew Coates (University of California Irvine): Does it harm science to suppress evidence?  
14:50-15:25 Rafael Fuchs (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Exchanging arguments and evidence - a bayesian argumentative agent-based model of scientific debates  
15:25-16:00 Matteo Michelini (Ruhr-Universität Bochum): An Agent-Based Model of MySide Bias in Scientific Debates  
16:00-16:30 coffee break
16:30-17:05 Maximilian Noichl (University of Bamberg, University of Vienna), Johannes Marx (University of Bamberg), and Dominik Klein (University of Utrecht): The influence of informational cascades on the the emergence of political revolutions  
17:05-17:40 Benedict Eastaugh and Walter Dean (University of Warwick): On the computational costs of probabilism  
17:40-18:15 Lilian von Bressensdorf (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Biases in Social Communication: A philosophical Analysis  
19:45 Workshop dinner

Day 3 (Fri, Dec 8)

Time Event
10:00-11:00 [Keynote 5] Gregor Betz (Karlsruhe Institute of Technology): Studying Rational Agency and Epistemic Communities with Large Language Models: Review, How-To, and Reflection  
11:00-11:30 coffee break
11:30-12:05 Leon Schöppl (Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München): Situated Knowledge and Standpoint in agent-based simulations  
12:05-12:40 Javier Osorio (Autonomous University of Madrid): The epistemic benefits of dense communication networks in cognitively diverse communities  
12:40-14:15 lunch break
14:15-14:50 Martin Justin (University of Ljubljana): Why Inquisitive Norms Matter: Exploring Peer Disagreement with an Agent-Based Model  
14:50-15:25 Pablo Rivas-Robledo (University of Amsterdam): Groups that perform worse than individuals: a reassessment of the Condorcet’s Jury Theorem under defensible premises  
15:25-16:00 Dominink Klein (Utrecht University): Hegselmann-Krause studied through the lenses of judgment aggregation  
16:00-16:30 Coffee break
16:30-17:30 [Keynote 6] Samuli Reijula (University of Helsinki): The many functions of diversity in scientific problem solving  

Organization and Funding

The event is organized by research group on Reasoning, Rationality and Science and funded by the DFG Research Network “Simulations of Scientific Inquiry”.