Moral Testimony: Once More With Feeling

In Russ Shafer-Landau (ed.), Oxford Studies in Metaethics: volume 11. Oxford University Press. pp. 45-73. (2016)
Authors
Guy Fletcher
University of Edinburgh
Abstract
It is commonly claimed that reliance upon moral testimony is problematic in a way not common to reliance upon non-moral testimony. This chapter provides a new explanation of what the problem consists in—one that enjoys advantages over the most widely accepted explanation in the extant literature (in short, that moral deference undermines moral worth). The main theses of the chapter are as follows: (1) that many forms of normative deference beyond the moral are problematic (including aesthetic and prudential deference), (2) that there is a common explanation of the problem with all of these forms of deference—an explanation that is based on the connection between the relevant judgments and desire-like attitudes, and (3) that this explanation is compatible with moral realism.
Keywords moral testimony  moral realism  normativity  aesthetic testimony
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