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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Call for Papers: Experts and Expertise. Interdisciplinary Issues

HUMANA.MENTE - Journal of Philosophical Studies

Issue 28, April 2015

Experts and Expertise. Interdisciplinary Issues

Editors: Elisabetta Lalumera (University of Milano -Bicocca), Giovanni Tuzet (Bocconi University - Milano)
The role of experts is pervasive in the everyday life of both individuals and communities. At the collective level, governments and groups routinely delegate scientific, economic and technological decisions to experts; expert testimony plays a key role in legal contexts, and the evaluation of academic and scientific institutions is demanded to expert peers. At the individual level, each of us defers to experts for the correct understanding of concepts and word meanings in some domains, and trusts experts blindly at least in some cases. Finally, both communities and individuals face the problem of what to do when experts disagree.

The study of experts and expertise lies at the intersection of cognitive and social psychology, epistemology, philosophy of law, and philosophy of language, but the various perspectives seldom meet together. For these reasons, it is timely to pose fundamental questions on the notions of expert and expertise in an interdisciplinary manner, so that issues raised within a specific debate may find solutions and integrations from other debates. The aim of this issue is to collect a variety of points of view on the topics of experts and expertise, with a special focus on the following issues:
  • What are experts?
  • What are the criteria for individuating them?
  • How does expert cognition differ from layperson cognition in specific domains?
  • Is it rational, and to what extent, to trust experts, provided that we cannot assess their competence?
  • What are the specific problems posed by expert testimony in legal contexts?
  • What is deference to experts in semantics and theories of concepts? Does it clash with intuitions of privileged first-person knowledge?
  • How should we characterize experts’ disagreement? What are we to do when experts disagree?
We selected the following invited authors from different disciplines (philosophy, psychology, law and economics):

Pascal Engel, EHESS Paris
Gloria Origgi, CNRS France
Susan Haack, University of Miami
Ron Allen, Northwestern School of Law
Christian Dahlman, Lund University
Carlo Martini, TINT Helsinki

Articles need to be clearly presented to be accessible even to non-specialist readers. They should be submitted in blind review format. Please omit any self-identifying information within the abstract and body of the paper. Furthermore, we invite to submit reviews of recent books (published after 2009), and commentaries of articles and books that could be particularly interesting for the topics discussed in this issue.

Submissions should be sent via e-mail to:

elisabetta.lalumera AT unimib.it and giovanni.tuzet AT unibocconi.it

Important dates:
Deadline for submissions: December 31, 2014
Decision on submitted papers: February 15, 2015

Dr. Elisabetta Lalumera
Ricercatrice di Filosofia del Linguaggio
Università di Milano-Bicocca
Dipartimento di Psicologia
piazza Ateneo Nuovo 1
20126 Milano - I

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