Moral Testimony as Higher Order Evidence

In Michael Klenk (ed.), Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. Routledge (forthcoming)
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Are the circumstances in which moral testimony serves as evidence that our judgement-forming processes are unreliable the same circumstances in which mundane testimony serves as evidence that our mundane judgement-forming processes are unreliable? In answering this question, we distinguish two possible roles for testimony: (i) providing a legitimate basis for a judgement, (ii) providing (‘higher-order’) evidence that a judgement-forming process is unreliable. We explore the possibilities for a view according to which moral testimony does not, in contrast to mundane testimony play role (i), but can play role (ii). We argue that standard motivations for rejecting this hybrid position are unpersuasive but suggest that a more compelling reason might be found in considering the social nature of morality.
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