You Will Respect My Authoritah!? A Reply to Botting

Informal Logic 39 (1):106-122 (2019)
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In a paper and a reply to critics published in _Informal Logic_, I argue that arguments from expert opinion are weak arguments. To appeal to expert opinion is to take an expert’s judgment that _p_ is the case as evidence for _p_. Such appeals to expert opinion are weak, I argue, because the fact that an expert judges that _p_ does not make it significantly more likely that _p_ is true or probable, as evidence from empirical studies on expert performance suggests. Unlike other critics of this argument, who take issue with the empirical evidence on expert performance, David Botting says that he wants to take issue with the premise that reliability is a necessary condition for the strength of appeals to expert opinion. I respond to Botting’s objections and argue that they miss their intended target. I also argue that his attempt to show that arguments from expert opinion are strong is unsuccessful.
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Archival date: 2019-03-12
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