On What it Takes to be an Expert

Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):1-21 (2019)
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Abstract
This paper tackles the problem of defining what a cognitive expert is. Starting from a shared intuition that the definition of an expert depends upon the conceptual function of expertise, I shed light on two main approaches to the notion of an expert: according to novice-oriented accounts of expertise, experts need to provide laypeople with information they lack in some domain; whereas, according to research-oriented accounts, experts need to contribute to the epistemic progress of their discipline. In this paper, I defend the thesis that cognitive experts should be identified by their ability to perform the latter function rather than the former, as novice-oriented accounts, unlike research-oriented ones, fail to comply with the rules of a functionalist approach to expertise.
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