New Waves in the Philosophy of Epistemic Authority and Expert Testimony

October 5, 2023 - October 6, 2023
Department of Philosophy, TU Dresden

SLUB Makerspace M2
Zellescher Weg 17
Dresden 01069


Università degli Studi di Genova
Middlebury College
University of Cologne
Technische Universität Dresden
University of Oslo
University of Innsbruck
University of Haifa
University of Innsbruck
University of Minnesota
University of Münster
Technische Universität Dresden
Cleveland Center for Bioethics


Technische Universität Dresden
Technische Universität Dresden

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Over the past decade, epistemology has seen a surge of interest in the topics of epistemic and expert authority. In particular, the debate has focused on questions such as (i) How should the concepts of epistemic or expert authority be defined, for example, according to objective, epistemic, or functionalist approaches? (ii) How can experts and epistemic authorities be reliably identified, especially by laypeople? (iii) What is the proper epistemic stance that laypeople should take towards epistemic authorities, for example, should they preempt their own reasons or not? (iv) What epistemic goods (knowledge, understanding, etc.) can be acquired from epistemic authorities, and what are the mechanisms of transmission?
In addition to these fundamental questions, a number of other issues have recently come to the fore. For instance, some authors have begun to address the relationship between epistemic authority and testimonial authority, or the question of whether non-personal epistemic authorities can also exist, for example in the form of social groups, institutions, or technical artefacts such as AI systems. Furthermore, a mutually fruitful exchange of the debate on epistemic authority with other current philosophical debates – such as the debate on non-ideal epistemic phenomena – is emerging. The aim of this conference is threefold: to stimulate exchange on established and recent questions, to raise questions that have not yet been considered, and generally, to map out the field of future research topics.

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September 25, 2023, 9:00am CET

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