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Emotion and Virtue$
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Gopal Sreenivasan

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691134550

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691134550.001.0001

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Moral Deference and the Proto-authority of Affect

Moral Deference and the Proto-authority of Affect

(p.168) 8 Moral Deference and the Proto-authority of Affect
Emotion and Virtue

Gopal Sreenivasan

Princeton University Press

This chapter argues that deferring to the feelings of an exemplar of virtue is sometimes the best way to figure out what the morally right thing to do is in a given practical situation. It stresses that ordinary people are sometimes warranted in deferring to an exemplar of virtue about what should be done in some practical situation. It also points out that the authority of an exemplar of virtue's advice is partly constituted by the proto-authority of the emotional response to the agent's situation. The chapter explores the proposition that moral deference is sometimes warranted, clarifying that the prescription or advice to which deference is warranted concerns the requirements of some virtue. It emphasizes that critics of moral deference distinguish accepting moral advice from moral deference proper.

Keywords:   ordinary people, virtue, proto-authority, moral deference, moral advice

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