In this paper, we argue that the formulation of typical expert judgements – here referred to as ‘judgement calls’ – entails figuring out how to apply ‘general knowledge’ to specific circumstances (what we call the ‘relevance query’). This requires wisdom, in its original Aristotelian sense, on the part of the scientific expert, as knowledge of laws and initial conditions is not sufficient to make judgement calls. Experts need to take into consideration factors coming from ‘outside’ the remit of scientific theory, thereby crossing the divide between empirical evidence and socio-political input (what we call the ‘expert query’). Arguing against some form of the fact-value distinction is far from an original move, but we will do so both by avoiding the conclusion that expert judgements are nothing but political (against the received view in the sociology of science), and by advocating a somewhat novel perspective. We will claim that expert scientific knowledge proves to be inadequate when it is not integrated with local knowledge, which we define as the knowledge of all factors, which are deemed relevant to the application of general knowl- edge to specific circumstances. The possession and role of this type of knowledge, though partly an empirical (or sociologically situated) question, can be justified by epistemological reasons.

Expertise, Relevance and Types of Knowledge

Eleonora Montuschi;
2018

Abstract

In this paper, we argue that the formulation of typical expert judgements – here referred to as ‘judgement calls’ – entails figuring out how to apply ‘general knowledge’ to specific circumstances (what we call the ‘relevance query’). This requires wisdom, in its original Aristotelian sense, on the part of the scientific expert, as knowledge of laws and initial conditions is not sufficient to make judgement calls. Experts need to take into consideration factors coming from ‘outside’ the remit of scientific theory, thereby crossing the divide between empirical evidence and socio-political input (what we call the ‘expert query’). Arguing against some form of the fact-value distinction is far from an original move, but we will do so both by avoiding the conclusion that expert judgements are nothing but political (against the received view in the sociology of science), and by advocating a somewhat novel perspective. We will claim that expert scientific knowledge proves to be inadequate when it is not integrated with local knowledge, which we define as the knowledge of all factors, which are deemed relevant to the application of general knowl- edge to specific circumstances. The possession and role of this type of knowledge, though partly an empirical (or sociologically situated) question, can be justified by epistemological reasons.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3712170
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