Philosophical Studies 179 (1):223-243 (2022)

Joshua DiPaolo
California State University, Fullerton
Epistemic trespassers are experts who pass judgment on questions in fields where they lack expertise. What’s wrong with epistemic trespassing? I identify several limitations with a seminal analysis to isolate three desiderata on an answer to this question and motivate my own answer. An answer should explain what’s wrong in the cases that motivate inquiry into epistemic trespassing, should explain what’s wrong with epistemic trespassing even if trespassers do not acknowledge their trespassing, and these explanations should not be independent of the fact that epistemic trespassing involves expertise. I also independently motivate a fourth desideratum: this account should explain the evaluative difference between different kinds of trespassing. To satisfy these desiderata, I develop a social analysis: epistemic trespassing is wrong because it is an abuse of expert authority that neglects novice vulnerabilities.
Keywords Epistemic Trespassing  Trust  Experts  Expert Testimony  Higher-Order Evidence  Speaker Responsibilities  Epistemic Negligence
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-021-01657-6
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