Universität Wien
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180005 SE Trust in Science (2020S)

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 18 - Philosophie
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 30 participants
Language: German


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

  • Wednesday 06.05. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal 2i NIG 2.Stock C0228
  • Friday 08.05. 09:45 - 13:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
  • Saturday 06.06. 09:45 - 14:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
  • Saturday 13.06. 09:45 - 14:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
  • Saturday 20.06. 09:45 - 14:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock
  • Saturday 27.06. 09:45 - 14:00 Hörsaal 3F NIG 3.Stock


Aims, contents and method of the course

The seminar includes a general introduction to philosophy of trust, and especially epistemic trust. The seminar covers four themes: The role of trust in scientific collaborations (Hardwig 1991; Rolin 2015); the moral dimension in trust (Frost-Arnold 2013; Wilholt 2013); citizens’ trust in scientific experts (Golman 2001; Anderson 2011); and case studies challenging received wisdom about trust and science (Goldenberg 2016; John 2018).
Learning outcomes: The participants understand the epistemic role that trust plays in research groups, scientific communities, and the relations these communities have with the society. They are prepared to discuss such questions as: What can ground epistemic trust in an individual testifier? What can ground trust in (or reliance on) the social practices of scientific communities and the institutions of science? They are familiar with the challenges that citizens encounter when they attempt to assess the trustworthiness of experts who disagree.

Assessment and permitted materials

The seminar consists of lectures (6 full hours) and seminar work (16 full hours). Evaluation is based on
- 10%: Participation in lectures and seminars (including required readings)
- 40%: Seminar presentation and discussion (20 + 10 minutes)
- 50%: Seminar paper (10-15 pages) due July 20th
Absences policy: One absence is allowed. Other absences should be adequately motivated. Unjustified absences will impact one’s final grade

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Examination topics

Reading list

Anderson, E. (2011). Democracy, Public Policy, and Lay Assessment of Scientific Testimony. Episteme, 8 (2), pp. 144-164.
Frost-Arnold, K. (2013). Moral Trust & Scientific Collaboration. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 44, pp. 301-310.
Goldenberg, M. J. (2016). Public Misunderstanding of Science? Reframing the Problem of Vaccine Hesitancy. Perspectives on Science, 24 (5), pp. 552-581.
Goldman, A. (2001). Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, 63 (1), pp. 85-109.
Hardwig, J. (1991). The Role of Trust in Knowledge. Journal of Philosophy, 88 (12), pp. 693-708.
John, S. (2018). Epistemic trust and the ethics of science communication: against transparency, openness, sincerity and honesty. Social Epistemology, 32 (2), pp. 75-87.
Rolin, K. (2015). Values in Science: The Case of Scientific Collaboration. Philosophy of Science, 82 (2), pp. 157-177.

Association in the course directory

Last modified: Sa 10.09.2022 00:19