Moral testimony

Masters
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Philosophy
Pages 8 (2008 words)
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This essay discusses the philosophical premises, which can lead to either the acceptance or rejection of moral testimony in theory and practice. Academic and philosophical opinion has pointed out a number of objections to this proposition in the forms of moral non-cognition and the problems in the identification and credibility of moral experts or moral authority.

Introduction


"Moral experts have no need to seek out others' moral expertise, but moral non-experts lack sufficient knowledge to determine whether the advice provided by a putative moral expert in response to complex moral situations is correct and hence whether an individual is a bone fide expert."1
The acceptance of moral testimony has been challenged on the basis that it does not make knowledge available to the recipient and therefore the use of such a knowledge is illegitimate.Before the reasons for this objection are discussed it is worth noting that little academic attention has actually been paid to the idea of whether or not testimony can be a legitimate source of moral beliefs.2
"we should be open to being persuaded by others, responsive to moral argument; but we should not take their word on moral issues, not allow ourselves to be influenced by the fact that they hold a certain view''.if, on the other hand, reliance on moral testimony is legitimate, there will still be questions about the conditions under which it is so". 3
This means that even though it is hard for us as humans to reject or accept moral judgements and considerations subconsciously , we c ...
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