Philosophical expertise and scientific expertise

Philosophical Psychology 28 (7):1026-1044 (2015)
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Abstract

The “expertise defense” is the claim that philosophers have special expertise that allows them to resist the biases suggested by the findings of experimental philosophers. Typically, this defense is backed up by an analogy with expertise in science or other academic fields. Recently, however, studies have begun to suggest that philosophers' intuitions may be just as subject to inappropriate variation as those of the folk. Should we conclude that the expertise defense has been debunked? I'll argue that the analogy with science still motivates a default assumption of philosophical expertise; however, the expertise so motivated is not expertise in intuition, and its existence would not suffice to answer the experimentalist challenge. I'll also suggest that there are deep parallels between the current methodological crisis in philosophy and the decline of introspection-based methods in psychology in the early twentieth century. The comparison can give us insight into the possible future evolution of philosoph..

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Jennifer Nado
University of Hong Kong