Why don't we trust Moral Testimony?

Andow, James (2019) Why don't we trust Moral Testimony? Mind and Language. ISSN 0268-1064

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Abstract

Is there a problem with believing something on the basis of someone else's testimony? Is there a problem with deferring to someone else's judgment? While it is typically okay to form beliefs in this way, many have thought there is something suspect about forming moral beliefs in this way. This basic intuition has been a starting point for much research on moral testimony and moral deference. To arbitrate between various attempts to account for our intuitions about moral testimony, it is important to know the exact nature of those intuitions. This is an empirical question and one which has not previously been addressed empirically. The current study attempts to get some empirical traction on how we intuitively think about moral testimony. The findings confirm that the way we ordinarily think about testimony about moral matters differs from the way we think about purely descriptive matters. Mediation analyses were used to explore the extent to which this asymmetry can be explained by appeal to different metaphysical beliefs about the relevant domains, or beliefs about the relative background levels of deception or disagreement. The current study also replicates and extends previous findings relating to a similar asymmetry between aesthetic and descriptive testimony.

Item Type: Article
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Arts and Humanities > School of Politics, Philosophy, Language and Communication Studies
University of East Anglia > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Research Groups > Philosophy
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 25 Feb 2019 14:30
Last Modified: 03 Nov 2019 07:30
URI: https://ueaeprints.uea.ac.uk/id/eprint/70000
DOI: 10.1111/mila.12255

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