Fundamental theory of Social Epistemology:
Your actual probability of being correct is not substantially larger than that of a peer (defined without respect to ANY specific positions).
Fundamental theory of Self-Importance:
You are very likely to over-rate your own reasons for being correct, and devalue others' peer-ness based on their disagreement.
- A rational epistemology assigns AT LEAST 50% of the probability space to social epistemology.
- What MOST people believe needs to have weight in your belief system...else you're wrong.
- What most EXPERTS believe needs to have weight in your belief system...else you're wrong.
- What betting markets say needs to have weight in your belief system...else you're wrong.
I also don't have any good way of determining how much of total epistemological probability to assign to the total of aggregated opinion.
I am concerned that 100% assigned to social epistemology is actually the ideal situation...but that humans are profoundly unsuited for such approaches...it violates our us-them taboo-driven monkeybrains rather badly.
Ways in which social epistemology fails include places in which folks are holding unusual positions that others have never been exposed to. Formalism constitutes epic fail* on a pure social epistemology line, but when limiting the peerage to folks who've actually heard of formalism...they do far less badly. Ditto the Yudkowskian's.
On the other hand...I consider the job of folks like me to be to
(a) fiddle around on the borders of the option-space opening up new caverns of opinions...providing interesting alternative hypotheses...that once disseminated shift the probability space...Aretaevian education theory, etc.
(b) Mine the hypothesis-space, and rebroadcast important, poorly-known hypotheses: Hanson's Forager/Farmer, Falkenstein's Envy hypothesis, Haidt's Moral Foundations, Aumann Agreement hypothesis, Pirsig's value>truth hypothesis, etc.
Truth-evaluation is actually lower-priority most of the time than exploring interesting approaches that may explain part of the world.
* I am advisedly uncool, and despite the admonitions of some of my hip readers, I remain decidedly square, and willing to use terms that are "so 2007".