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Kristina Rolin

Rolin photoPhD (Philosophy)

Room 326

Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies
P.O. Box 4
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki
Finland

Tel +358-(0)2941 28342
Email kristina.rolin (AT) helsinki.fi

Curriculum vitae (pdf)

List of Publications (pdf)

 

Research interests

  • Philosophy of science with an emphasis on social epistemology
  • Feminist epistemology
  • The role of values in science
  • Diversity in science

Current research

Political Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge

My research project contributes to the interdisciplinary field of science studies by developing a social epistemology of scientific knowledge. The project discusses topics which are of interest to a multidisciplinary research community, such as the proper role of social values in the social sciences and humanities, and the benefits of interdisciplinary research (diversity of theoretical approaches) as well as its dangers (scientific imperialism).

Philosophers working on social epistemology draw on a variety of conceptual and theoretical resources, including agent-based modeling, game theory, and research in social psychology and organizational behavior. To a large extent political philosophy remains an unexplored terrain when philosophers develop a normative theory of the social dimensions of scientific knowledge. The project aims to fill this lacuna in scholarship by exploring the ways in which political philosophy can be applied in social epistemology.

Whereas “Political Philosophy of Scientific Knowledge” is often understood to refer to debates concerning the role of scientific knowledge and experts in society as well as the role of lay citizens in scientific inquiry, my aim is to extend its scope to include other topics in social epistemology. The project explores the following topics: (i) Epistemic injustice and feminist standpoint theory; (ii) the epistemic benefits of diversity: social, political, and cognitive; (iii) scientific imperialism; (iv) the value-free ideal of science and its alternatives; and (v) the distribution of epistemic responsibilities within and across scientific communities.

While the relevance of John Stuart Mill’s, John Dewey’s and Karl Popper’s political philosophy to social epistemology is widely acknowledged, I pursue a novel approach to political philosophy of scientific knowledge. I argue that cosmopolitan political philosophy can be used to defend epistemic cosmopolitanism, the view that scientists have epistemic responsibilities not only towards their fellow scientists with whom they share a discipline or a specialty, but also towards stakeholders. I argue also that epistemic responsibilities need to be distributed in order for scientists to be able to carry them out.