Philosophical expertise

Jennifer NADO

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review

55 Citations (Scopus)


Recent work in experimental philosophy has indicated that intuitions may be subject to several forms of bias, thereby casting doubt on the viability of intuition as an evidential source in philosophy. A common reply to these findings is the ‘expertise defense’ – the claim that although biases may be found in the intuitions of non-philosophers, persons with expertise in philosophy will be resistant to these biases. Much debate over the expertise defense has centered over the question of the burden of proof; must defenders of expertise provide empirical evidence of its existence, or should we grant the existence of philosophical expertise as a ‘default’ assumption? Defenders have frequently appealed to analogy with other fields; since expertise clearly exists in, e.g., the sciences, we are entitled to assume its existence in philosophy. Recently, however, experimentalists have begun to provide empirical evidence that biases in intuition extend even to philosophers. Though these findings don't yet suffice to defeat the default assumption of expertise the analogy argument motivates, they do force any proponent of the analogy argument to provide more specific and empirically informed proposals for the possible nature of philosophical expertise.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)631-641
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophy Compass
Issue number9
Early online date4 Sept 2014
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2014


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