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Expert Opinion

This is a discussion of the nature of expert authority. A discussion of the limits of authority and the right way to object to authority is included.

Expert Authority

Expert opinion can be wrong. We all know that it is right a lot of the time, but sometimes we cannot understand the reasons why experts believe what they do. There are also times when experts do not agree with each other. There are even times when experts can to know things they do not know or in areas they have not studied. We often view experts as being more intelligent or smarter than us. This ...

Experts Are Good For…

I have been exploring the nature of expert opinion for a while. I have shown that mere expert opinion is only valuable if we know that the expert is an expert and that experts agree with that opinion and the reasons for that opinion. However, I would like to end this series by showing that experts are good for two things. Experts are good for teaching those who do not know and experts are good for...

Experts vs. Non-experts

I have said that the only difference between experts and non-experts is that experts have some knowledge that non-experts do not have. Not all experts are equal. There is no great gulf between experts and non-experts. Rather, there is a gradual increase in expertise as we move from non-experts to experts. Similarly, experts in one subject may be average people in another. All experts are experts i...

Knowing Expert Opinion

So far, I have discussed issues about when we should believe experts and what evidence we can use against good expert opinion. However, there is another issue. Most of the time, experts do not say that almost all experts agree with me, and the same number of experts have reasons within our knowledge for that position. They just say ” scientists say… ” or ” we know that̷...

Democracy and Experts

In the Western world, we tend to believe that democracy is the best form of government. We also believe that political problems ought to be solved in a democratic fashion. However, this is not always true. Democracy can only solve a certain kind of social problem. Democracy can only solve problems that do not require expert knowledge to solve. There is nowhere to see this better than in the Occupy...