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Paper   IPM / Philosophy / 17712
School of Analytic Philosophy
  Title:   A (moderate) skill-based defense of the expertise defense
  Author(s):  Mohammad Hossein M. A. Khalaj
  Status:   Published
  Journal: Philosophical Psychology
  Year:  2024
  Supported by:  IPM
he expertise defense is the best-known response by armchair philosophers to the challenge posed by experimental philosophers regarding the trustworthiness of intuitions. In a series of recent experiments, Experimental philosophers have recently focused on professional philosophers, claiming that, contrary to what the expertise defense assumes, philosophers' intuitions are no less susceptible to the influence of irrelevant factors (the direct strategy). Additionally, drawing from literature on expertise, they contend that, unlike other domains of expertise, practice does not improve philosophers' intuitions (the indirect strategy). In this paper, adopting a skill-based perspective on expertise, my primary objective is to defend the expertise defense against both direct and indirect strategies. Based on the skill-based account, I present three arguments against the direct strategy by challenging its power, scope and methodology. Furthermore, borrowing empirical findings from recent literature on expertise, I argue against the indirect strategy that four skills that constitute philosophical expertise regarding thought experiments can be improved through various forms of practice, including deliberate practice. However, my moderate defense departs from typical versions of the expertise defense since I argue that while recent experiments by experimental philosophers cannot undermine the expertise defense, they provide valuable insights into philosophical expertise.

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