PhilSci Archive

We Should Redefine Scientific Expertise: An Extended Virtue Account

Uygun Tunc, Duygu (2022) We Should Redefine Scientific Expertise: An Extended Virtue Account. [Preprint]

We Should Redefine Scientific Expertise_An Extended Virtue Account.pdf

Download (403kB) | Preview


An expert is commonly considered to be somebody who possesses the right kind of knowledge and skills to find out true answers for questions in a particular domain. However, this common conception that focuses only on an individual’s knowledge and skills is not very useful to understand the social epistemic dimension and the epistemically interdependent nature of contemporary scientific expertise, which becomes increasingly more relevant due to the rise of large interdisciplinary research collaborations. The typical scientific expert today relies substantially on complex scientific instruments and numerous other experts in forming expert judgment. Accordingly, our concept of expertise should not consist only in individual knowledge and skills, but also accommodate technological and social forms of epistemic dependence, which the paper analyses under the notion of extended epistemic competence. To this aim, this paper proposes a virtue-theoretical reconstruction of the concept of expertise as informant reliability. Considered in reference to the social epistemic function of expertise, an expert should be conceived as a reliable informant in a particular domain, which implies that when consulted on matters in that domain she asserts competently, honestly and completely. Competent expert assertion involves the epistemic responsibility to draw on nothing but the highest degree of epistemic competence relevant to the given context. Thus, being a reliable informant may require one to draw on an epistemic competence that goes beyond one’s individual competence and to assert on the basis of an extended competence, which involves epistemic dependence on external sources.

Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Preprint
Uygun Tunc, Duyguduygu.uygun@outlook.com0000-0003-0148-0416
Keywords: scientific expertise epistemic virtue epistemic competence extended epistemology norms of assertion
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Depositing User: Duygu Uygun Tunc
Date Deposited: 14 Mar 2022 03:49
Last Modified: 14 Mar 2022 03:49
Item ID: 20335
Subjects: General Issues > Social Epistemology of Science
Date: 10 March 2022

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item