Asymmetry, Disagreement and Biases: Epistemic Worries about Expertise and How to Address them

24 January 2019, 17:15 - 18:45

Seminar Room SG1, Alison Richard Building, 7 West Road *NB Different day*

Cathrine Holst (University of Oslo)
Commentator: Frederico Brandmayr (Cambridge)
 

This paper contributes to an ongoing exchange in political theory on the normative legitimacy of expert bodies. It focuses on epistemic worries about the expertization of politics, and uses the Nordic system of advisory commissions as an empirical case. Epistemic concerns are often underplayed by those who defend an increasing role of experts in policy-making, while those who have epistemic worries often tend overstate them and debunk expertise. We present ten epistemic worries, of which some are of an epistemological nature, while others  are related to failures and biases. These worries no doubt point to real problems which in some way have to be handled through the design of expert bodies and institutions of science advice. We introduce three groups of mechanisms that are likely to remedy the problems of expertise and discuss what they imply for the design of a system of  public advisory commissions

 

 

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