Moral Philosophy Seminar (Monday - Week 8, HT19)

Moral Philosophy Seminar

Moral Philosophy Seminar

There is a common complaint about relying on moral testimony about moral questions. Testimony, the complaint says, can do cognitive but not emotional work. We might come to know what the right thing to do is, but we won't come to feel the right way about it. I argue that this underestimates the power of moral testimony. I develop an account of an important but overlooked kind of moral testimony: hermeneutical advice. I suggest that we rely on hermeneutical advice when we rely on others to make sense of our moral experience and I develop an account of what this "making sense" consists in. Once we take into account hermeneutical advice, I argue, it becomes clear that moral testimony can change both hearts and minds. 


Members of the audience are invited to join the speaker and the convenor for drinks and dinner at a local restaurant following the talk (at their own expense). There will obviously be some limit on the number of people who can attend. Those who wish to attend a particular dinner should write to Ed Lamb in advance to reserve a place. Please note that we will no longer be going to dinner afterwards at Somerville College to continue questioning the speaker. In future terms I may bring the time of the seminar forward to 3 – 5pm which would make it possible for all to go to pre-dinner drinks. Please let me know if this change of time would make you more or less likely to attend.

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