Approving on the Basis of Moral and Aesthetic Testimony

Oxford Studies in Metaethics (forthcoming)
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If a reliable testifier tells you that a song is beautiful or that an act is wrong, do you thereby have a reason to approve of the painting and disapprove of the agent's action? Many insist that we don’t: normative testimony does not give us reasons for affective attitudes like approval. This answer is often treated as a datum in the literatures on moral and aesthetic testimony. I argue that once we correct for a common methodological mistake in these literatures, the answer must be Yes. I then show why this matters for the broader discussion of the puzzle(s) posed by deference to moral and aesthetic testimony.

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Daniel Wodak
University of Pennsylvania


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