Academic superstars: competent or lucky?

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Abstract

I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics' preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars are in fact competent or lucky, or which group a given superstar belongs to, and hence whether stratification is overall beneficial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4499-4518
Number of pages20
JournalSynthese
Volume194
Issue number11
Early online date24-Sep-2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov-2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Philosophy of science
  • Social structure of science
  • Formal epistemology
  • Social epistemology
  • Network formation
  • NETWORK FORMATION
  • SCIENCE
  • MODEL
  • DISAGREE

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