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The Australian National University

Julia Driver (Washington U St. Louis)

Date and time

Thu, 27/07/2017 - 15:30 - 17:30


Coombs Seminar Room A

Deference, Testimony, and the Moral/Aesthetic Analogy

The puzzle of moral or aesthetic deference holds that there is something odd or wrong about pure deference to moral or aesthetic testimony.  Something is missing in deference cases, even if it is true that knowledge can be conveyed solely on the basis of testimony. The standard approach to solving the puzzle is to hold that even though normative knowledge can be conveyed solely on the basis of testimony, something more important is missing in these cases -- normative understanding.  For example, moral understanding is important because it is only through moral understanding that one's actions acquire moral worth, and that one can possess moral virtue.  In this paper I explore whether or not the same holds in the aesthetic cases, and criticize the understanding model put forward by Alison Hills and Robert Hopkins.

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