Can we legitimately speak of ethicsexperts? Recent literature in philosophy and medical ethics addresses this important question but does not offer a satisfactory answer. Part of the problem is the absence of an examination of what it means to be an expert in general. I therefore begin by reviewing my analysis of expertise which appeared earlier in this journal. We speak of two kinds of experts: persons whose expertise is in virtue of what theyknow (epistemic expertise), or what theydo (performative (...) expertise). Applying this analysis to the domain of ethics, I argue that we may speak of ethical expertise in three epistemic senses: a) expertise indescriptive ethics, b) expertise inmetaethics, c) expertise innormative ethics, and in a performative sense: d) expertise inliving a good life. I conclude with a brief description of some social roles of ethics experts. (shrink)
Experts play an important role in society, but there has been little investigation about the nature of expertise. I argue that there are two kinds of experts: those whose expertise is a function of what theyknow (epistemic expertise), or what theydo (performative expertise). Epistemic expertise is the capacity to provide strong justifications for a range of propositions in a domain, while performative expertise is the capacity to perform a skill well according to the rules and virtues of a practice. Both (...) epistemic and performative experts may legitimately disagree with one another, and the two senses are conceptually and logically distinct. (shrink)
An expert on ethical issues offers straightforward, easy-to-follow advice on how to handle difficult and complex situations at work, in relationships, and in everyday life, presenting a four-step program designed to help readers make the best decisions possible. Original.