As an ACT fellow, I would seek training in psychology and cognitive science at the University of Michigan and Yale University. I've developed an active research program in epistemology, including a book-length project on "regulative" or inquiry-guiding epistemology, and sometimes I appeal to the psychology of biases and judgment. Recently, I've begun collaborating with a psychologist. But I want to become a more perceptive and critical reader of scientific research and to deepen my understand of empirical approaches to the study of expertise. The fellowship experience would extend my understanding of the connections between my epistemological concerns and relevant science, positioning me to conduct new work on intellectual humility, expertise, and the cognitive traits and habits of good inquirers.
During Fall 18 and Spring 19, I would complete a graduate certificate in cog-sci at UMich's Weinberg Institute for Cognitive Science. David Dunning (Psychology) would serve as my mentor and I'd join his lab. During Fall 19, I would visit Yale University, where Frank Keil (Psychology) would be my mentor; I'd participate in Keil's lab while auditing relevant seminars in Yale's cog-sci program.
My first book project defends epistemic principles that encourage increased intellectual humility toward controversial topics. I plan to write a second book on expertise in society. The difficulties of creating and using specialized knowledge require people to depend on experts. But expertise can be misused and abused: experts err and may pronounce on issues beyond their real expertise. Furthermore, non-experts often ignore experts' knowledge and supplant it with their own defective perspectives. I'll develop normative perspectives to help both experts and non-experts do better, but my project will be grounded in relevant scientific discoveries. Dunning and Keil are major contributors to the science of expert knowledge and they would be ideal mentors for my cross-training work.