As I’m on holiday break, I’m relying on the archives of my other blog, The Ethics of Metropolitan Growth, to keep things moving along with this new blog. I will resume the development of new posts soon.
Today’s entry, from May 27, 2011, takes up a question that is still of concern to me, especially as i think about the meaning and the uses of this new blog: Is there such a thing as expertise in philosophy? Of what does that expertise consist?
Note that “the book” referenced in the first paragraph is my book, The Ethics of Metropolitan Growth (Continuum 2010).
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On Expertise: A Reply to King
The first published review of the book has come out, in the Spring 2011 issue of the journal Environmental Ethics. The review was written by Roger J.H. King.
It is certainly gratifying to read a sympathetic and largely positive review. King seems to understand the main intent of the book, which is to provide, as he puts it, “a propaedeutic” to ethical inquiry, that is, a kind of preparatory exercise. In other words, this is not, as he puts it, “a theoretical book.” (p.100)
The central mission of the book is to demonstrate the complexity of everyday judgments and decisions, and to encourage citizens and decision makers to uncover and analyze this complexity. (p.99)
So far, so good. This really is the mission of the book, as I understand it. It is clear, though, that King is not entirely satisfied with the book: he wishes I had taken on a different and more ambitious mission. Continue reading