Assessing Expertise - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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  1. Assessing Expertise The aim of this tutorial is to help you determine whether or not to believe a claim based on a person’s expertise. Go To Next Slide

  2. When we read or hear a new informative claim how do we decide whether or not to believe it? One factor is how well the claim fits within our background information. Another factor is the credibility of the person making the claim. In general, the more knowledgeable a person is in a given field – the more credibility that person has, that is – the more reason there is to accept an informational claim the person makes about subjects in that field. In each of the following, choose the subjects, associated with each expert, to which the person’s expertise is relevant. Go To Next Slide

  3. Professor Bekker served as a Church of Christ minister for twenty years before retiring from that to teach religion at Northern University, a public institution. • The existence of God. • The theology of the Church of Christ. • The history of American religion. • Roman Catholicism. Remember, the point of these problems is to decide whether the person’s expertise is such that it would be reasonable for you to accept an informational claim they made on a topic as true. Go To Next Slide

  4. The existence of God. Though Bekker would most likely be familiar with the pertinent arguments here, this is not a topic for which there are experts. The theology of the Church of Christ. It certainly seems that Bekker’s twenty years of experience make him an expert on this topic. The history of American religion. As a professor of religion, Bekker probably has a good knowledge of this topic. Roman Catholicism. Again, the professor probably has more knowledge here than an average person, but from what we know, he is not an expert. Go To Next Slide

  5. Elaine Rivera inherited her family’s gun store, which she has operated on her own for nine years. • The difficulty in enforcing gun control laws. • Which guns are most often bought for criminal purposes. • Which guns are most often bought by amateurs. • Which guns are easiest for amateurs to use. Consider what you know about Ms. Rivera. Should she be considered an expert on these subjects? Go To Next Slide

  6. The difficulty of enforcing gun control laws. She knows what happens in gun stores but this does not make her an expert here. She may even have a bias here. Which guns are most often bought for criminal purposes. She may read ATF reports but her job does not give her expertise here. Which guns are most often bought by amateurs. Her professional experience makes her an expert here. Which guns are easiest for an amateur to use. Again, this is a subject that she is most likely an expert on. Go To Next Slide

  7. Xerxes Darius went to Stanford University law school, worked as a tax lawyer for three years, and then became a criminal defense attorney. • Whether his present client is guilty as charged. • Whether the quality of a defense attorney makes a difference to a defendant’s conviction or acquittal. • Whether existing exceptions for admitting illegally seized evidence are constitutional. • When to accept a plea-bargaining agreement. Consider what you know about Mr. Xerxes. Should he be considered an expert on these subjects? Go To Next Slide

  8. Whether his present client is guilty as charged. Though Darius has knowledge on this subject beyond what most people have, his position as defense council would make anything he has to say biased. In fact, we can expect Darius to argue that his client is not guilty. Whether the quality of a defense attorney makes a difference to a defendant’s conviction or acquittal. Again, Darius is biased here. Though he may indeed have knowledge on this subject, you should not accept his claims without proof. Go To Next Slide

  9. Whether existing exceptions for admitting illegally seized evidence are constitutional. His professional experience and academic background give Darius more than average expertise here. However, nothing that we know tells us that he is an expert on Constitutional law. When to accept a plea-bargaining arrangement. If Darius is a good defense attorney, and the prestige of Stanford University suggests that he is, then he is an expert on this subject This is the end of this tutorial