Chapter

Moral Authority

Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski

in Epistemic Authority

Published in print November 2012 | ISBN: 9780199936472
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980697 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199936472.003.0009
Moral Authority

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This chapter applies the arguments of previous chapters to the domain of moral belief. The chapter defends the existence of epistemic authority in the moral domain against objections from three directions: (1) there is no moral truth to be discovered, (2) there are no moral experts, and (3) taking a moral belief on authority conflicts with the autonomy of the self. However, the chapter identifies limitations of moral testimony for moral motivation and moral understanding. These limitations reveal the importance of moral communities for the transmission of practically useful and praiseworthy moral beliefs.

Keywords: testimony; moral authority; moral judgment; moral scepticism; autonomy; moral emotions; moral motivation; moral understanding

Chapter.  9957 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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