Published online by Cambridge University Press: 21 August 2020
Chapter 8 considers the widespread epistemic dependence that characterizes “big science,” and uses the information economy framework to dispel the worry that such dependence is inconsistent with the standards for scientific knowledge. This leads to a new argument against reductionism in the epistemology of testimony. First, reductionism is shown to be untenable for scientific knowledge. Second, if reductionism must be rejected for scientific knowledge, then it should be rejected more generally. This second idea can be vindicated in two ways. First, anti-reductionism about scientific knowledge entails anti-reductionism about knowledge in general, since anti-reductionism is best understood as the thesis that some transmitted knowledge cannot be reduced to generated knowledge. Second, if anti-reductionism is required for scientific knowledge, then reductionism for non-scientific knowledge is unmotivated. The most elegant position is anti-reductionism about knowledge transmission in general.