Goodwin, Jean. “Trust in Experts as a Principal-Agent Problem.” In Dialectics, Dialogue and Argumentation: An Examination of Douglas Walton’s Theories of Reasoning and Argument, edited by Chris Reed and Christopher W. Tindale. 133-43. London: College Publications, 2010.
The “critical questions” for testing appeals to authority proposed by Walton and many textbooks are all right. But why? That seems a good question for argumentation theorists to ask. I propose a general account of the appeal to epistemic authority drawn from principal-agent theory, from which the critical questions can be derived.