Academic superstars: competent or lucky?
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Heesen, R. (2016). Academic superstars: competent or lucky?. Synthese https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-016-1146-5
I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics’ preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars are in fact competent or lucky, or which group a given superstar belongs to, and hence whether stratification is overall beneficial.
This work was partially supported by the National Science Foundation under grant SES 1254291.
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External DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s11229-016-1146-5
This record's URL: https://www.repository.cam.ac.uk/handle/1810/260155
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