Annual Lecture Series (in-person)
Lunchtime Talks (in-person)
LTT: Laura Gradowski
April 14 @ 12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
Title: Expectation and exception: expertise as an epistemic constraint
I document historical cases of anomalies that resulted in theory changes, with an eye to the course of their reception by mainstream experts. With some regularity, a theory-changing anomaly first comes to the attention of amateurs or scientists with expertise in a domain other than the one to which the anomaly belongs. Mainstream experts, in turn, tend to deny the anomaly, either denying that it is anomalous to theory or denying the phenomenon altogether as impossible or artefactual. Expertise inhibits positive anomaly appraisal—the recognition of a phenomenon as a genuine exception, recalcitrant to explanation in terms of prevailing theory. My view is that failure to attend phenomena that are anomalous to one’s theory is the result of theory-entrenchment. Specialized training and narrow fields of experience condition experts’ expectations, delimiting their ability to recognize exceptions. The result is a delay in the scientific advancements that result from theory-change. I offer three suggestions: (1) exposure to more experiential domains and developing an armamentarium of theories to guide both training and research could benefit experts epistemically, (2) experts should not be granted absolute epistemic authority, and (3) layperson and outsider observations ought to be taken more seriously.
This talk will also be available live streamed on You Tube at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCrRp47ZMXD7NXO3a9Gyh2sg.
- April 14
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm EDT
- Event Category:
- Lunch Time Talks 2022-2023