Moral Understanding, Testimony, and Moral Exemplarity

Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (2):373-389 (2020)
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While possessing moral understanding is agreed to be a core epistemic and moral value, it remains a matter of dispute whether it can be acquired via testimony and whether it involves an ability to engage in moral reasoning. This paper addresses both issues with the aim of contributing to the current debates on moral understanding in moral epistemology and virtue ethics. It is argued that moral epistemologists should stop appealing to the argument from the transmissibility of moral understanding to make a case for their favorite view of moral understanding. It is also argued that proponents of exemplarist moral theories cannot remain neutral on whether the ability to engage in moral reasoning is a necessary component of moral understanding.

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Michel Croce
Università degli Studi di Genova


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