Epistemic Bubbles, Echo Chambers, and the Digital Infosphere

Azimuth 22/2023 | Epistemic Bubbles, Echo Chambers, and the Digital Infosphere

Edited by F. Pisano, A. Scala

Permalink of complete issue: http://digital.casalini.it/9788855294591
ISSN (paper): 2282-4863
ISBN (paper): 978-88-5529-408-9
ISBN (e-book): 978-88-5529-465-2

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Digital infospace is intertwined with the lives of each of us with no actual discontinuity. Its epistemic dynamics are immediately part of social discourse. This is exactly why the urgency to confront such a problem arises, today, for any epistemology that wants to contribute to a critical engagement with our shared present. A good starting point for this inquiry is the confusion, frequent in social discourse, between epistemic bubbles and echo chambers. An epistemic bubble is a social epistemic structure that excludes other relevant epistemic sources. It can constitute itself by sheer environmental dynamics, resulting from the accidental cumulation of knowledge and its segregation from external interferences. An echo chamber is instead a social epistemic structure that actively excludes and discredits other relevant epistemic sources. It works towards this exclusion and in the interest of the epistemic agents who promote it. Both are prominent architectural features of the digital infospace that seamlessly influence the general space of knowledge. Questions regarding their structural character, their differences, the role they assign to truth and epistemic agents, and what the virtuous epistemic agent could or should do with respect to those issues are the focus of this issue of Azimuth.

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Introductions to the Problem(s)

I. Community

II. Space

III. Information