I—Moral Testimony, Moral Virtue, and the Value of Autonomy



According to some, taking moral testimony is a potentially decent way to exercise one's moral agency. According to others, it amounts to a failure to live up to minimal standards of moral worth. What's the issue? Is it conceptual or empirical? Is it epistemological or moral? Is there a ‘puzzle’ of moral testimony; or are there many, or none? I argue that there is no distinctive puzzle of moral testimony. The question of its legitimacy is as much a moral or political as an epistemological question. Its answer is as much a matter of contingent empirical fact as a matter of a priori necessity. In the background is a mixture of normative and descriptive issues, including the value of autonomy, the nature of legitimate authority, and who to trust.