Lavinia Marin (TU Delft), "How to Do Things with Information Online. A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating Social Networking Platforms as Epistemic Environments"
Philosophy & Technology, 2022
In this article, I used a situated cognition approach (aka 4E cognition) to look at how Social Networking platforms are experienced as epistemic environments by their online users. Most users see their time spent on social media as entertainment, disconnected from their epistemic goals. However, as I show in this paper, our epistemic agency is affected by the habits and skills we build in a particular environment. Social networking platforms are habit-building the more we use them, so it is worthwhile to see how these habits of online interactions shape our epistemic agency. In this paper, I propose a conceptual framework to evaluate an environment to see how conducive it is to increasing the epistemic agency of its users or how disabling it is. Thus, I propose to see social networking platforms as environments that can upskill and deskill at the same time.
I summarised below the article as a mind map in which the central claims can be easier seen and thus challenged.
In my future work, I want to dive deeper into epistemic skills and look at how unequal distributions of skills can create epistemic dominance and injustice. I will mainly look at how various affordances and scaffolds create unequal environments for skill development.
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