Why you cannot make people better by telling them what is good


Authors
Ulf Hlobil
Concordia University
Abstract
So-called optimists about moral testimony argue, against pessimists, that, ceteris paribus, we ought to accept and act in accordance with trustworthy, pure moral testimony. I argue that even if we grant this, we need to explain why moral testimony cannot make us more virtuous. I offer an explanation that appeals to the fact that we cannot share inferential abilities via testimony. This explanation is compatible with the core commitments of optimism, but it also allows us to see what is right about pessimism.
Keywords moral testimony  moral deference  practical reasoning  de dicto moral motivation
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DOI 10.1111/ejop.12542
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References found in this work BETA

What is Inference?Paul Boghossian - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (1):1-18.
Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):661-688.
Understanding Why.Alison Hills - 2016 - Noûs 50 (4):661-688.
Moral Testimony: Once More with Feeling.Guy Fletcher - 2016 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 11:45-73..

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