David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Argumentation 25 (3):297-312 (2011)
This paper argues that the problem of expertise calls for a rapprochement between social epistemology and argumentation theory. Social epistemology has tended to emphasise the role of expert testimony, neglecting the argumentative function of appeals to expert opinion by non-experts. The first half of the paper discusses parallels and contrasts between the two cases of direct expert testimony and appeals to expert opinion by our epistemic peers, respectively. Importantly, appeals to expert opinion need to be advertised as such, if they are to sway an epistemic peer. The second half of the paper sketches a theoretical framework for thinking about assessments of expertise in a unified way, via a ‘default and challenge’ model that emphasises the need for a version of conversational scorekeeping. It is through such scorekeeping that interlocutors can track and coordinate their differences in epistemic outlook. The paper concludes with a genealogical perspective on the function of (attributions of) expertise: acceptance of another’s appeal to expert opinion may be construed as tacit agreement that inquiry, for now, has been taken far enough.
|Keywords||Expertise Testimony Expert opinion Social epistemology Default-and-challenge model|
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References found in this work BETA
Robert B. Brandom (1994). Making It Explicit: Reasoning, Representing, and Discursive Commitment. Harvard University Press.
Bernard Williams (2002). Truth and Truthfulness: An Essay in Genealogy. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press.
Alvin I. Goldman (1999). Knowledge in a Social World. Oxford University Press.
Sanford Goldberg (2010). Relying on Others: An Essay in Epistemology. Oxford University Press.
C. A. J. Coady (1992). Testimony: A Philosophical Study. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Boaz Miller (forthcoming). Scientific Consensus and Expert Testimony in Courts Lessons From the Bendectin Litigation. Foundations of Science:1-19.
Axel Gelfert (2013). Coverage-Reliability, Epistemic Dependence, and the Problem of Rumor-Based Belief. Philosophia 41 (3):763-786.
Maureen Linker (2014). Epistemic Privilege and Expertise in the Context of Meta-Debate. Argumentation 28 (1):67-84.
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