Moral Testimony and Moral Epistemology*

  title={Moral Testimony and Moral Epistemology*},
  author={Alison Hills},
  pages={94 - 127}
Many people believe that there are strong reasons not to form moral beliefs on the say-so of others, as Eleanor does. I will call these people “pessimists” about moral testimony. Pessimists do not think that moral testimony is entirely worthless. They agree that it is acceptable for children to learn most of their moral beliefs through testimony. And adults may reasonably base some beliefs on testimony, for example, about relevant nonmoral issues (who did what to whom) from which they can 

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Many philosophers believe that there exist distinctive obstacles to relying on moral testimony. In this paper, I criticize previous attempts to identify these obstacles and offer a new theory. I

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Moral testimony has been getting a bad name in the recent literature. It has been argued that while testimony is a perfectly fine source for nonmoral belief, there’s something wrong with basing one’s

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While possessing moral understanding is agreed to be a core epistemic and moral value, it remains a matter of dispute whether it can be acquired via testimony and whether it involves an ability to

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    Canadian Journal of Philosophy
  • 2020
Abstract It is has been argued that there is a problem with moral testimony: testimony is deferential, and basing judgments and actions on deferentially acquired knowledge prevents them from having

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Several authors have discussed and defended what is sometimes called the Asymmetry Thesis in social epistemology: that while reliance on testimony is essentially incontrovertible in epistemology, it

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According to some, taking moral testimony is a potentially decent way to exercise one's moral agency. According to others, it amounts to a failure to live up to minimal standards of moral worth.

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    Ethical Theory and Moral Practice
  • 2021
For many of the moral beliefs we hold, we know that other people hold moral beliefs that contradict them. If you think that moral beliefs can be correct or incorrect, what difference should your

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In this paper I argue against the charge that dependence on moral testimony is at odds with good moral agency, and moral specifically with the ideal of having moral understanding and using it to make

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In recent years, much attention has been given to the epistemic credentials of belief based on moral testimony. Some people think pure moral deference is wrong, others disagree. It comes as a

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

  • Ulf Hlobil
  • Philosophy
    European Journal of Philosophy
  • 2020
: 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