Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 31 (1):25-44 (2017)

Authors
Maximilian Kiener
Oxford University
Abstract
In this essay, I oppose the ‘Asymmetry Thesis’ according to which moral matters are simply different in kind from non-moral matters when it comes to testimony because moral matters require understanding in a way in which non-moral matters do not. I argue that the requirement of understanding is not unique to morality and also deny that there is a genuine requirement of understanding after all. Instead, cases of moral and non-moral testimony are often troubling for the same reason, namely the violation of the requirement of using one’s own cognitive faculties when it is both possible and feasible. I will argue for this account in two stages: Firstly, I will present particular examples of testimony which aim to render this proposal initially plausible via inductive reasoning. Secondly, I will present a transcendental argument from the social function of testimony and explain why such a requirement in fact holds.
Keywords testimony  moral  asymmetry  understanding  epistemic autonomy
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References found in this work BETA

Constructivism About Reasons.Sharon Street - 2008 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 3:207-45.
In Defense of Moral Testimony.Paulina Sliwa - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):175-195.
Review of E Thics and the Limits of Philosophy.Thomas Nagel - 1986 - Journal of Philosophy 83 (6):351-360.
What is Wrong with Moral Testimony?Robert Hopkins - 2007 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (3):611-634.

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