Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared
EXPERTISE, WISDOM AND MORAL PHILOSOPHERS: A RESPONSE TO GESANG
Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2011
© 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
Volume 26, Issue 6, pages 337–342, July 2012
How to Cite
COWLEY, C. (2012), EXPERTISE, WISDOM AND MORAL PHILOSOPHERS: A RESPONSE TO GESANG. Bioethics, 26: 337–342. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8519.2010.01860.x
- Issue online: 12 JUN 2012
- Version of Record online: 17 JAN 2011
- moral expertise;
- civic duty
In a recent issue of Bioethics, Bernard Gesang asks whether a moral philosopher possesses greater moral expertise than a non-philosopher, and his answer is a qualified yes, based not so much on his infallible access to the truth, but on the quality of his theoretically-informed moral justifications. I reject Gesang's claim that there is such a thing as moral expertise, although the moral philosopher may well make a valid contribution to the ethics committee as a concerned and educated citizen. I suggest that wisdom is a lot more interesting to examine than moral expertise. Again, however, moral philosophers have no monopoly on wisdom, and the study of philosophy may even impede its cultivation.