Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust?

Alvin I. Goldman

in Pathways to Knowledge

Published in print January 2002 | ISBN: 9780195138795
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780199833252 | DOI:
 Experts: Which Ones Should You Trust?

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In everyday life, novices often defer to the testimony of experts in deciding what to believe. But when putative experts disagree, how can a novice justifiably decide which expert to trust? Five methods are considered: listening to their arguments and counter‐arguments, determining who has more agreement from other experts, consulting the ratings of metaexperts, checking the biases of the contenders, and consulting their respective track records. Going with greater numbers seems promising but depends on problematic assumptions. Appealing to track records, though ostensibly beyond a novice's ken, is shown to be possible and sometimes quite helpful.

Keywords: agreement; biases; epistemology; experts; novices; testimony; track record; trust

Chapter.  12539 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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