Skip to main content

© 2019 Niagara County Community College | All rights reserved.

Faculty Resource Center for Academic Excellence

Faculty Keynote Series

Sapere Aude: The Role of Expertise in Human Debate

One of the perennial concerns of philosophy is the definition of reality. As philosophers investigate its nature or structure they quickly run into concerns of an epistemological nature. That is, philosophers not only want to know what reality is: we also want to know how we know what reality is. One way to work through this is by checking to see if those statements “correspond” to reality. The formal check of whether a statement is “true” or “false” in such a model depends on the proper correspondence between what we say, think, or believe and what reality “really” is. When we set out to measure this alignment, furthermore, we sometimes rely on other individuals who may have insight into the topic: experts. This shortcut to knowledge relies on trust and on a simple intellectual division of labor: we can’t all be experts at everything, after all.

But what happens when that trust disappears and the division of labor is not respected? What does a conversation look like that rejects expertise? What do we do when no agreement or common ground is possible or desired?

This presentation will assess the role of trust in expertise from an epistemological perspective, drawing on some classic debates in the history of philosophy as well as some recent debates in social networks.

Date: Thursday, March 30, 2023, 3:30 p.m.
Location: E-140
Presented By: Dr. Fabio Escobar

Dr. Fabio Escobar has a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from California State University and a Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University at Buffalo. In 2015 he received the SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service and in 2014 he received the Erie Community College Student Government Association Faculty Appreciation Award. He has also served on hospital ethics committees and institutional review boards.

His philosophical research focuses on metaphysics and the structure of human experience, a field traditionally known as phenomenology and which serves as a foundation for arguments about the structure of reality. His overall goal is to develop a comprehensive metaphysical model that transparently and systematically assesses human bias. His work closely tracks developments in critical theory, otherwise known as the Frankfurt School of Philosophical Research.

Directions to the Sanborn Campus.

Fabio Escobar

Dr. Fabio Escobar


Phone: 716-614-4075
Fax: 716-614-6828
Location: D-106 Suite
Hours: M-F, 8:00am – 4:00pm