Moral Deference

Abstract
Everyone agrees, I think, that there is something fishy about moral deference and expertise, but that's where consensus ends. This paper has two aims – the first is to mount a defense of moral deference, and the second is to offer a (non-debunking) diagnosis of its fishiness. I defend moral deference by connecting the discussion of moral deference to the recent discussion of the appropriate response to uncertainty. It is, I argue, morally obligatory to minimize the risk of one's wrongdoing (at least when all other things are held equal), and this moral requirement entails that deferring to a moral expert is sometimes not just morally permissible but also admirable, and indeed morally required. If moral deference is often justified, why is it fishy? I offer an explanation in terms of the emotions moral judgments are often related to, and their nature (roughly speaking) as directed at the good or bad, right or wrong, de re rather than de dicto. The combination of this vindication of moral deference and diagnosis of its fishiness nicely accommodates, I argue, some related phenomena, like the (neglected) fact that our uneasiness with moral deference is actually a particular instance of uneasiness with opaque evidence in general when it comes to morality, and the (familiar) fact that the scope of this uneasiness is wider than the moral as it includes other normative domains.
Keywords Moral Deference  Moral Expertise  Moral Uncertainty
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index Translate to english
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 11,018
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Similar books and articles
Anthony Preus (1984). Respect for the Dead and Dying. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 9 (4):409-416.
Laurence Thomas (1993). Moral Flourishing in an Unjust World. Journal of Moral Education 22 (2):83-96.
Sarah McGrath (2009). The Puzzle of Pure Moral Deference1. Philosophical Perspectives 23 (1):321-344.
Michael Cholbi (2007). Moral Expertise and the Credentials Problem. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 10 (4):323-334.
Peter Miller (1975). Who Are the Moral Experts? Journal of Moral Education 5 (1):3-12.
S. Godlovitch (1988). Aging and Moral Deference. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 4 (2):55-61.
Grenville Wall (1975). Moral Authority and Moral Education. Journal of Moral Education 4 (2):95-99.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Sorry, there are not enough data points to plot this chart.

Added to index

2012-10-16

Total downloads

0

Recent downloads (6 months)

0

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.