Moral testimony: Once more with feeling

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


It is commonly claimed that reliance upon moral testimony is problematic in a way not common to reliance upon non-moral testimony. This chapter provides a new explanation of what the problem consists in—one that enjoys advantages over the most widely accepted explanation in the extant literature (in short, that moral deference undermines moral worth). The main theses of the chapter are as follows: (1) that many forms of normative deference beyond the moral are problematic (including aesthetic and prudential deference), (2) that there is a common explanation of the problem with all of these forms of deference—an explanation that is based on the connection between the relevant judgments and desire-like attitudes, and (3) that this explanation is compatible with moral realism
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Studies in Metaethics
EditorsRuss Shafer-Landau
Place of PublicationOxford
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9780191087608
ISBN (Print)9780198784647, 9780198784654
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameOxford Studies in Metaethics
PublisherOxford University Press


  • moral testimony
  • moral realism
  • non-cognitivism
  • aesthetic judgments
  • normative judgments
  • prudential judgments
  • moral worth


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