Ulf Hlobil (Concordia University - Montreal)
"Why You Cannot Make People Better by Telling them What is Good"
So-called optimists about moral testimony have argued, against pessimists, that (i) we can acquire moral knowledge via pure moral testimony and (ii) we are sometimes morally required to act on such knowledge. I argue that even if we grant this, a puzzle remains. Accepting pure moral testimony cannot make us more virtuous. It is not easy to explain that fact, especially if we accept optimism. I offer an explanation that appeals to the fact that we cannot share the ability to perform a given piece of practical reasoning via testimony. This explanation allows us to see what is right about pessimism.
Friday, April 5 at 3:30pm to 5:00pm
Anheuser-Busch Hall (ABH), 106
1 University Blvd., St. Louis, Mo. 63121-4400