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  1. Trust in the Normative Domain.Stephen Wright - 2018 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 26 (2):187-204.
    Pessimists about trust in the normative domain believe that forming normative beliefs on the basis of trusting others is problematic, forming normative beliefs in other ways is not so problematic and forming non-normative beliefs on the basis of trust is not so problematic. Whilst there is substantial disagreement over the best way of accounting for pessimist ideas about trust, it is widely accepted that the intuitively problematic character of forming normative beliefs on the basis of trust cannot be explained in (...)
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  • Ethical Evidence.Steven Diggin - forthcoming - Synthese.
    This paper argues that ethical propositions can legitimately be used as evidence for and against empirical conclusions. Specifically, I argue that this thesis is entailed by several uncontroversial assumptions about ethical metaphysics and epistemology. I also outline several examples of ethical-to-empirical inferences where it is extremely plausible that one can rationally rely upon their ethical evidence in order to gain a justified belief in an empirical conclusion. The main upshot is that ethical propositions can, under perfectly standard conditions, play both (...)
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  • Moral Testimony and Re-Conceived Understanding: A Reply to Callahan.Emily Slome - 2022 - Philosophical Quarterly 72 (3):763-770.
    In the article ‘Moral Testimony: A Re-Conceived Understanding Explanation’, Callahan argues that her re-conceived view of understanding can explain the issue with deference to moral testimony better than the more traditional understanding-based accounts. In this paper, I argue that Callahan fails to give a more successful explanation of the problem with moral testimony for two reasons. First, I argue that Callahan fails to adequately prove her claim that deference to testimony disincentivizes her re-conceived understanding. Second, I take issue with Callahan's (...)
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  • In Defence of Non-Ideal Political Deference.Matthias Brinkmann - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):264-285.
    Many philosophers have claimed that relying on the testimony of others in normative questions is in some way problematic. In this paper, I consider whether we should be troubled by deference in democratic politics. I argue that deference is less problematic in impure cases of political deference, and most non-ideal cases of political deference are impure. To establish the second point, I rely on empirical research from political psychology. I also outline two principled reasons why we should expect political deference (...)
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  • Why Don't We Trust Moral Testimony?James Andow - 2020 - Mind and Language 35 (4):456-474.
  • Ethical Issues with Artificial Ethics Assistants.Elizabeth O'Neill, Michal Klincewicz & Michiel Kemmer - forthcoming - In Oxford Handbook of Digital Ethics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    This chapter examines the possibility of using AI technologies to improve human moral reasoning and decision-making, especially in the context of purchasing and consumer decisions. We characterize such AI technologies as artificial ethics assistants (AEAs). We focus on just one part of the AI-aided moral improvement question: the case of the individual who wants to improve their morality, where what constitutes an improvement is evaluated by the individual’s own values. We distinguish three broad areas in which an individual might think (...)
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  • Moral Testimony and Collective Moral Governance.Iskra Fileva - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-14.
    I suggest that a moderate version of pessimism about moral testimony succeeds. However, I claim also that all major pessimist accounts—Understanding, Affect, Virtue, and Autonomy—fail. Having argued for these claims, I propose a new pessimist alternative.
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  • Public Justification and the Veil of Testimony.Sean Donahue - 2020 - Journal of Political Philosophy 28 (4):378-396.
    The Public Justification Principle requires that coercive institutions be justified to all who live under them. I argue that this principle often cannot be satisfied without persons depending on the pure informative testimony of others, even under realistically idealized situations. Two main results follow. First, the sense of justification relevant to this principle has a strongly externalist component. Second, normative expectations of trust are essential to public justification. On the view I propose, whether the Public Justification Principle is satisfied depends (...)
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  • Why You Cannot Make People Better by Telling Them What is Good.Ulf Hlobil - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):986-996.
    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 (...)
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  • Is Identity Illusory?Andreas L. Mogensen - 2021 - European Journal of Philosophy 29 (1):55-73.
    European Journal of Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Moral Testimony: Transmission Versus Propagation.Alison Hills - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 101 (2):399-414.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • Fichte on Conscience.Owen Ware - 2017 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 95 (2):376-394.
    There is no question that Fichte's theory of conscience is central to his system of ethics. Yet his descriptions of its role in practical deliberation appear inconsistent, if not contradictory. Many scholars have claimed that for Fichte conscience plays a material role by providing the content of our moral obligations—the Material Function View. Some have denied this, however, claiming that conscience only plays a formal role by testing our moral convictions in any given case—the Formal Function View. My aim in (...)
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  • Deferring to Others About One's Own Mind.Casey Doyle - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (2):432-452.
    Pessimists about moral testimony hold that there is something suboptimal about forming moral beliefs by deferring to another. This paper motivates an analogous claim about self-knowledge of the reason-responsive attitudes. When it comes to your own mind, it seems important to know things “from the inside”, in the first-personal way, rather than putting your trust in another. After motivating Pessimism, the paper offers an explanation of its truth. First-person knowledge is distinctive because it involves knowing a state of mind and (...)
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  • What Pessimism About Moral Deference Means for Disagreement.James Fritz - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (1):121-136.
    Many writers have recently argued that there is something distinctively problematic about sustaining moral beliefs on the basis of others’ moral views. Call this claim pessimism about moral deference. Pessimism about moral deference, if true, seems to provide an attractive way to argue for a bold conclusion about moral disagreement: moral disagreement generally does not require belief revision. Call this claim steadfastness about moral disagreement. Perhaps the most prominent recent discussion of the connection between moral deference and moral disagreement, due (...)
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  • A Defense of the Very Idea of Moral Deference Pessimism.Max Lewis - 2020 - Philosophical Studies (8):2323-2340.
    Pessimists think that there is something wrong with relying on deference for one’s moral beliefs—at least if one is morally mature. Call this no deference. They also tend to think that what explains our aversion to cases of moral deference is the fact that they involve deference about moral claims. Call this moral explanation. Recently, both no deference and moral explanation have come under attack. Against no deference, some philosophers offer purported counterexamples involving moral advice. I argue that proponents of (...)
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  • Remembering What is Right.Casey Doyle - 2020 - Philosophical Explorations 23 (1):49-64.
    According to Pessimism about moral testimony, it is objectionable to form moral beliefs by deferring to another. This paper motivates Pessimism about another source of moral knowledge: propositional memory. Drawing on a discussion of Gilbert Ryle’s on forgetting the difference between right and wrong, it argues that Internalism about moral motivation offers a satisfying explanation of Pessimism about memory. A central claim of the paper is that Pessimism about memory (and by extension, testimony) is an issue in moral psychology rather (...)
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  • Moral Deference, Moral Assertion, and Pragmatics.Max Lewis - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):5-22.
    In this paper, I offer a novel defense of moderate pessimism about moral deference, i.e., the view that we have pro tanto reason to avoid moral deference. I argue that moral deference fails to give us the epistemic credentials to satisfy plausible norms of moral assertion. I then argue that moral assertions made solely on the basis of deferential moral beliefs violate a plausible epistemic and moral norm against withholding information that one knows, has evidence, or ought to believe will (...)
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  • Moral Realism and Reliance on Moral Testimony.Joshua Blanchard - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (5):1141-1153.
    Moral realism and some of its constitutive theses, e.g., cognitivism, face the following challenge. If they are true, then it seems that we should predict that deference to moral testimony is appropriate under the same conditions as deference to non-moral testimony. Yet, many philosophers intuit that deference to moral testimony is not appropriate, even in otherwise ordinary conditions. In this paper I show that the challenge is cogent only if the appropriateness in question is disambiguated in a particular way. To (...)
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  • Deference and Ideals of Practical Agency.Jonathan Knutzen - 2021 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 51 (1):17-32.
    This paper develops a moderate pessimist account of moral deference. I argue that while some pessimist explanations of the puzzle of moral deference have been misguided in matters of detail, they nevertheless share an important insight, namely that there is a justified moral agency ideal grounded in pro tanto reasons against moral deference. This thought is unpacked in terms of a set of values associated with the practice of morality. I conclude by suggesting that the solution to the puzzle of (...)
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  • Expertise and Authority.Coran Stewart - 2020 - Episteme 17 (4):420-437.
    ABSTRACTExperts use their superior skills and understanding to mediate between evidence in some domain and non-experts. But how should we understand the proper relationship between experts and non-experts? In this paper, I present two ways of conceiving experts’ mediating role from the perspective of non-experts: the Authority View and the Advisor View. Jennifer Lackey has criticized the Authority View and defended the Advisor View. I defend an account of epistemic authority that avoids her criticisms while arguing the Advisor View lacks (...)
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  • The New Puzzle of Moral Deference.Max Lewis - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (4):460-476.
    Philosophers think that there is something fishy about moral deference. The most common explanation of this fishiness is that moral deference doesn’t yield the epistemic states necessary for certain moral achievements. First, I argue that this explanation overgeneralizes. It entails that using many intuitively kosher belief-formation methods should be off-putting. Second, I argue that moral deference is sometimes superior to these other methods because it puts one in a better position to gain the relevant moral achievements.
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  • Moral Understanding and Cooperative Testimony.Kenneth Boyd - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):18-33.
    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 moral worth. What morality perhaps requires of us, then, is that we understand why a proposition is true, but this is something that cannot be acquired through testimony. I argue here that testimony can be both deferential as well as cooperative, and that one can acquire moral understanding through cooperative testimony. The (...)
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