Date of Graduation

1-2021

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level

Graduate

Department

Philosophy

Advisor

Thomas Senor

Committee Member

Eric Funkhouser

Second Committee Member

Barry Ward

Keywords

Conversion, Goldman's Novice, Social Epistemology, Trustworthiness

Abstract

Much of our knowledge of the world depends on the testimony of experts. Experts sometimes change their minds and disagree with each other. What ought a novice do when an expert changes their mind? This dissertation provides an account of when expert conversion is epistemically significant and how the novice ought to rationally defer to expert conversion. In answering when expert conversion is epistemically significant, I provide a diagnostic tool that emphasizes that epistemically significant expert conversion seems to be evidence-based and that there is an absence of cognitive biases on the part of the converting expert. In answering how the novice ought to rationally defer to a converting expert I give two principles. First, I give a principle for determining when an expert is trustworthy. Second, I answer under what further conditions a novice rationally or legitimately trusts in a converting expert.

Share

COinS