Master of Arts (MA)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
This thesis will address the issue of appealing (or deferring) to the authority of expertise. The effects of the social character of knowledge highlight two points with regard to this issue. First, they leave the layman in an epistemically inferior position. Thus, the layman must appeal to the authority of experts. The second point, related to the first point, is the implicit role of trust in deferring to expert authority. Though I will pay attention to each of these points, the focus of this thesis will be on the former. If we accept that one must appeal to the authority of experts in order to be on epistemically firm ground, then as a consequence we leave ourselves open to the problem of adjudicating between conflicting expert testimonies. The goal of this thesis will be to examine a process by which one can arrive at the most epistemically justified position given the amount of information that one has at one’s disposal.
Document Availability at the Time of Submission
Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.
Tall, Jonathan D., "Informed decision making" (2006). LSU Master's Theses. 1573.