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Workshop: Intuitions and the Expertise Defense

Workshop date: September 13th-15th, 2017

The use of intuitions as evidence in philosophical theorising has been intensely debated in recent years. In particular, experimental philosophers have criticised philosophers' reliance on intuitions as potentially biased and error-prone by showing that the folk's intuitions seem to vary from the philosophical consensus. 

Some philosophers have responded to this methodological challenge by appealing to the so-called ‘expertise defense’: philosophical experts—by virtue of their relevant training and skills—are more suited to judge the outcomes of thought experiments than laypeople. However, more recent studies suggest that even philosophers themselves may be subject to extraneous factors.

In this workshop we will discuss the latest developments regarding the expertise defense and experimentalists’ responses. Some of the questions we hope to elucidate are: What exactly does philosophical expertise consist of? Are philosophers expert intuiters? Can the expertise defense be sustained in the face of the recent findings concerning the experts?

Workshop location: room M 2.3 at the Studenterhus (see here)


The duration of the talks on Wednesday and Thursday will be 45min + 30min discussion. On Friday, talks will be 35min + 15min discussion.    

Wednesday, September 13:
9:00-9:15Welcome and introduction by Samuel Schindler
9:15-10:30 Jennifer Nado (Hong Kong University)

The varieties of philosophical expertise

10:30-11:00Coffee break
11:00-12:15 Joach­im Horvath (University of Cologne)
The Myth of Intuitive Expertise
13:30-14:45Edouard Machery (University of Pittsburgh)Philosophy as Modeling? 
14:45-15:15Coffee break
15:15-16:45Pierre Saint-Germier (Aarhus University)

Getting Gettier Straight: a Pragmatic Approach to the Problem of Deviant Realizations

Thursday, September 14:
9:15-10:30 Jonathan Weinberg (University of Arizona) Philosophical déformation professionelle and the burden of proof
10:30-11:00Coffee break
11:00-12:15 Sören Häggqvist (Stockholm University)

Case judgements, meta-judgements, and expertise

12:15-13:30 Lunch
13:30-14:45 Samuel Schindler (Aarhus University) An Expertise Defense via Armchair Physics
14:45-15:15 Coffee break
15:15-16:45 Anna Drożdżowicz (Aarhus University) Philosophical expertise beyond intuitions
18:30Conference dinner at Domestic
Friday, September 15:
9:00-9:50 Ana Butković (University of Zagreb) Does the Expertise Defense Threaten the Armchair Intuitional Methodology?
9:50-10:15Coffee break
10:15-11:05 Eugen Fischer (University of East Anglia) The Expertise Defence: A Psycholinguistic Perspective
11:05-11:15Coffee break
11:15-12:10 Miguel Egler and Lewis Ross (University of St. Andrews) "Seeing the Trees for the Forest" - bringing the expertise defence into focus
12:15 Lunch