Experts, expertise and philosophy
Keywords:philosophy of expertise, expertise, expert, epistemic value, responsibility, Socrates
This article outlines the relevance and significance of the philosophical analysis of the essence of expertise by drawing upon existing Western contributions within the “philosophy of expertise” and offering author’s vision of this issue. Due to the postulation of the importance of expertise as a social phenomenon, the emphasis has been shifted from the expert himself to those actors who use his expertise.
The main part of the article is devoted to author’s concept of the three dimensions of expertise: ontic, deontic, and epistemological. The ontic dimension of expertise encompasses the phenomena of the objectual-sensory world that reflect the basis of an expert’s competence and involvement in a community of professionals. However, since expertise is a social activity rather than solely individual, alongside the ontic dimension of contextually verified competencies, there is a mandatory presence of a special responsibility on the expert’s behalf, leading to the discussion of the deontic dimension. As the epistemological dimension is one of the most debated in the context of the philosophy of expertise, its elucidation proves to be the most intricate and intriguing within this work. It raises questions regarding the dual nature of knowledge, the epistemic conditions of expertise quality, such as understanding (relevant terms, arguments, etc.), and the presence of propositional justification. This section concludes with an argument for the necessity of simultaneously considering all three dimensions when analyzing real-world expertise. Furthermore, by appealing to real social practices, the second part of the article attempts to demonstrate that the foundation of expertise analysis is deeply rooted in European civilization, starting from Socratic inquiries. Socrates began scrutinizing the epistemic value of ancient experts in light of the socio-political crisis of that time, including crises in the humanitarian sphere. Such a preliminary review of this issue should provoke a discussion, the expression of certain assessments and remarks, which will turn into a full-fledged professional discussion.
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