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Frances H. Fairbairn
Philosophical Review Visiting Lecturer, 2019-2020
The broad arc of my research puts forward the notion of inference webs, which are structured collections of claims and principles in which inferential relationships (including association and common use) dictate the covert meaning of the individual parts of the structure. While inference webs are not necessarily problematic (indeed, they are essential to our epistemic practices), they can be both epistemically damaging and harmful. I am particularly interested cases where:
Inference webs are especially invisible or hard to track.
Inference webs seriously inhibit research programs due to the fact that they are under-discussed.
Inference webs perpetuate serious social and epistemological harms.
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