Authors
Robert Hopkins
New York University
Abstract
Is it legitimate to acquire one’s moral beliefs on the testimony of others? The pessimist about moral testimony says not. But what is the source of the difficulty? Here pessimists have a choice. On the Unavailability view, moral testimony never makes knowledge available to the recipient. On Unusability accounts, although moral testimony can make knowledge available, some further norm renders it illegitimate to make use of the knowledge thus offered. I suggest that Unusability accounts provide the strongest form of pessimist view. I consider and reject five Unavailability accounts. I then argue that any such view will fail. But what is the norm rendering moral testimonial knowledge unusable? I suggest it lies in the requirement that we grasp for ourselves the moral reasons behind a moral view. This demand is one testimony cannot meet, and that claim holds whatever account we offer of the epistemology of testimony. However, while appeal to this requirement forms the most plausible pessimist view, it is another question whether pessimism is correct
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  Philosophy of Mind
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s) 0031-8205
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2007.00042.x
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 71,410
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.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

In Defense of Moral Testimony.Paulina Sliwa - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):175-195.
Moral Worth and Moral Knowledge.Paulina Sliwa - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):393-418.
Testifying Understanding.Kenneth Boyd - 2017 - Episteme 14 (1):103-127.

View all 94 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Learning From Words.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):77–101.
Kant on Testimony.Axel Gelfert - 2006 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 14 (4):627 – 652.
Testimony as a Social Foundation of Knowledge.Robert Audi - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):507-531.
Knowledge on Trust.Paul Faulkner - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Testimony, Knowledge, and Epistemic Goals.Steven L. Reynolds - 2002 - Philosophical Studies 110 (2):139 - 161.
The Nature of Testimony.Jennifer Lackey - 2006 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 87 (2):177–197.
Moral Testimony and its Authority.Philip Nickel - 2001 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 4 (3):253-266.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2009-01-28

Total views
251 ( #44,617 of 2,519,870 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
8 ( #88,475 of 2,519,870 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes