As part of our Northwestern Epistemology brownbag series, Juan Comesana (Arizona) was in Evanston yesterday giving a talk, and in it he raised an issue I have been wondering about as well: the nature and existence of philosophical expertise. (I speak for myself, though much of what follows is in the spirit of Juan’s excellent discussion.)
It is uncontroversial (I think!) that philosophers as a group, and most philosophers as individuals, make a good deal of false philosophical claims. This suggests that if there is such a thing as philosophical expertise, it is not to be understood interms of our epistemic competence w.r.t. the philosophical claims we make. (I tried my hand at arguing for something in this vicinity in “Reliabilism in Philosophy,” Phil Studies 142: 105-117, available in pre-published form here.)
What, then, might the nature of philosophical expertise be? I have some ideas here but, prompted by Juan to think again about this issue, I’d be interested to hear what others think.