Why moral expertise needs moral theory

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Discussions of the nature or possibility of moral expertise have largely proceeded in atheoretical terms, with little attention paid to whether moral expertise depends on theoretical knowledge of morality. Here I argue that moral expertise is more theory-dependent than is commonly recognized: Moral expertise consists, at least in part, in knowledge of the correct or best moral theory, and second, that knowledge of moral theory is essential to moral experts dispensing expert counsel to non-experts. Moral experts would not be moral experts absent knowledge of moral theory, nor could they play the testimonial role we would expect them to play in moral inquiry and deliberation absent such knowledge.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMoral Expertise
Subtitle of host publicationNew Essays from Theoretical and Clinical Bioethics
EditorsJamie Carlin Watson, Laura K. Guidry-Grimes
Place of PublicationCham
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783319927596
ISBN (Print)9783319927589
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Aug 2018

Publication series

NamePhilosophy and Medicine
ISSN (Print)0376-7418
ISSN (Electronic)2215-0080


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