The Epistemic Value of Expert Autonomy

Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
According to an influential Enlightenment ideal, one shouldn't rely epistemically on other people's say-so, at least not if one is in a position to evaluate the relevant evidence for oneself. However, in much recent work in social epistemology, we are urged to dispense with this ideal, which is seen as stemming from a misguided focus on isolated individuals to the exclusion of groups and communities. In this paper, I argue that that an emphasis on the social nature of inquiry should not lead us to entirely abandon the Enlightenment ideal of epistemically autonomous agents. Specifically, I suggest that it is an appropriate ideal for those who serve as experts in a given epistemic community, and develop a notion of expert acceptance to make sense of this. I go on to show that, all other things being equal, this kind of epistemic autonomy among experts makes their joint testimony more reliable, which in turn brings epistemic benefits both to laypeople and to experts in other fields.
Reprint years
2020
PhilPapers/Archive ID
DELTEV
Revision history
Archival date: 2018-08-06
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Elusive Knowledge.Lewis, David K.

View all 86 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
What Experts Could Not Be.Watson, Jamie Carlin

Add more citations

Added to PP index
2018-08-06

Total views
504 ( #7,779 of 48,826 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
94 ( #5,886 of 48,826 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.