Remembering what is right

Philosophical Explorations 23 (1):49-64 (2020)
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According to Pessimism about moral testimony, it is objectionable to form moral beliefs by deferring to another. This paper motivates Pessimism about another source of moral knowledge: propositional memory. Drawing on a discussion of Gilbert Ryle’s on forgetting the difference between right and wrong, it argues that Internalism about moral motivation offers a satisfying explanation of Pessimism about memory. A central claim of the paper is that Pessimism about memory (and by extension, testimony) is an issue in moral psychology rather than moral epistemology. That is because it is best explained by appeal to claims about the constitution of moral knowledge as a state of mind, rather than requirements on belief formation. The paper also provides reason to think that the focus on testimony, pervasive in the literature, is something of a red herring.
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Archival date: 2021-02-16
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