Among social epistemologists, having a certain proportion of reliably formed beliefs in a subject matter is widely regarded as a necessary condition for cognitive expertise. This condition is motivated by the idea that expert testimony puts subjects in a better position than non-expert testimony to obtain knowledge about a subject matter. I offer three arguments showing that veritism is an inadequate account of expert authority because the reliable access condition renders expertise incapable of performing its social role. I then develop an alternative explanation of expert authority that I call the epistemic facility account, arguing that having a certain type of competence in a subject matter or domain of subject matters is sufficient for explaining expert authority while avoiding the problems with veritistic accounts.
Topoi – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 2, 2016
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