Philosophers of science have argued that having a diverse community of researchers can help promote the objectivity of scientific communities and minimize the negative influences of explicit and implicit biases in scientific reasoning. Much of this is grounded in work on cases in the history of science where well-intentioned but homogeneous communities of scientists made problematic context-based assumptions, adopted unwarranted stereotypes, or reasoned in ways that were limited by their own experiences, values, and interests.
But is there any reason that this epistemic justification for diversity should be limited to the sciences?
Wouldn’t a group of researchers working in, say, aesthetics and philosophy of art, benefit just as much from the sorts of diversity that are likely to minimize context-based assumptions and unwarranted stereotypes?
The line-up of guest bloggers and philosophers/artists to be interviewed on the Aesthetics for Birds blog this fall provides a good example of a relatively diverse community of researchers, including both academics and non-academics and both junior and senior philosophers from a broad range of private and public universities. It will be interesting to see what new ideas emerge from the mix!