The authority of Wikipedia

Posted on 14 July 12


Goodwin, Jean. “The Authority of Wikipedia.” In Argument Cultures, edited by Juho Ritola. Windsor, ONT: Ontario Society for the Study of Argumentation, 2010.

Philosophers of argumentation and of testimony suggest that we can rely on what someone says because of its epistemic merits. If so, then we should never credit Wikipedia, since we cannot assess what its anonymous contributors know. I propose instead that Wikipedia can have pragmatic merits, in that the contributors’ passion for the project, and the emerging communicative design through which that passion is made manifest, provide a reason for trust.

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Translated into Italian as L’autorità di Wikipedia. Sistemi intelligenti, 25(1), 9–37 (2013).

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