Gloria Origgi in Edge.org followed by responses, of which the first is by me:
I'm a philosopher and I do some social sciences, but basically I stick to philosophy in my method, in my way of tackling questions. I was interested in epistemology, in questions about knowledge. At a certain point in the early 2000s, Internet became such a major phenomenon that I started to be interested in transformations of the ways in which we organize, access, produce, and distribute knowledge that was dependent on the introduction of Internet in our lives.
I was interested in the question of trust. It seems like a paradox. The traditional view of knowledge in philosophy and epistemology is that you should not trust, and you should be an autonomous thinker. You should have in your own mind the means to filter information, and to infer new knowledge from what you already know without taking into account the opinion of others. The opinion of others is doxa, and episteme—the true knowledge—is the opposite, being an autonomous knower. With Internet and this hyperconnectivity in which knowledge started to spin around faster than light, I had the feeling that trust was becoming a very important aspect of the way in which we acquire knowledge.
We need to trust other people. In an information dense society in which you have so much information, you cannot just count on your own means. You need to trust other people, and what does it mean to trust other people? Does it mean to become gullible? Does it mean to become credulous? I started to work in some specific domains to try and understand what it means to trust other people in order to acquire knowledge, to acquire some reliable information. What do we do? Are we entitled to do this? Is this an appropriate way of using our mind or of doing inference?