Trust, expertise, and the philosophy of science

Synthese 177 (3):411-425 (2010)
Authors
Kyle Whyte
Michigan State University
Robert Crease
State University of New York, Stony Brook
Abstract
Trust is a central concept in the philosophy of science. We highlight how trust is important in the wide variety of interactions between science and society. We claim that examining and clarifying the nature and role of trust (and distrust) in relations between science and society is one principal way in which the philosophy of science is socially relevant. We argue that philosophers of science should extend their efforts to develop normative conceptions of trust that can serve to facilitate trust between scientific experts and ordinary citizens. The first project is the development of a rich normative theory of expertise and experience that can explain why the various epistemic insights of diverse actors should be trusted in certain contexts and how credibility deficits can be bridged. The second project is the development of concepts that explain why, in certain cases, ordinary citizens may distrust science, which should inform how philosophers of science conceive of the formulation of science policy when conditions of distrust prevail. The third project is the analysis of cases of successful relations of trust between scientists and non-scientists that leads to understanding better how ‘postnormal’ science interactions are possible using trust.
Keywords Philosophy   Metaphysics   Philosophy of Language   Logic   Epistemology   Philosophy of Science
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DOI 10.1007/s11229-010-9786-3
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References found in this work BETA

Rethinking Expertise.H. M. Collins & Robert Evans - 2007 - University of Chicago Press.
The Role of Trust in Knowledge.John Hardwig - 1991 - Journal of Philosophy 88 (12):693-708.

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Citations of this work BETA

What is Epistemic Public Trust in Science?Gürol Irzik & Faik Kurtulmus - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
The Importance of Participatory Virtues in the Future of Environmental Education.Matt Ferkany & Kyle Powys Whyte - 2012 - Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 25 (3):419-434.
A Pluralistic Approach to Interactional Expertise.Kathryn S. Plaisance & Eric B. Kennedy - 2014 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 47:60-68.

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