Authors
Errol Lord
University of Pennsylvania
Abstract
There are parallel debates in metaethics and aesthetics about the rational merits of deferring to others about ethics and aesthetics. In both areas it is common to think that there is something amiss about deference. A popular explanation of this in aesthetics appeals to the importance of aesthetic acquaintance. This kind of explanation has not been explored much in ethics. This chapter defends a unified account of what is amiss about ethical and aesthetic deference. According to this account, deference is a non-ideal way of thinking about ethics and aesthetics because it does not allow us to possess the full range of reasons provided by the ethical and aesthetic facts. It has this feature because it does not acquaint us with ethical and aesthetic facts. It is argued further that despite this defect, there is no general obligation not to defer. The upshot is a moderate optimism about ethical and aesthetic deference.
Keywords moral deference, aesthetic deference, acquaintance, optimism about deference, pessimism about deference
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DOI 10.1093/oso/9780198823841.003.0004
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