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March 23, 2017 -
March 24, 2017
Time: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Location: Pebble Hill

The 9th International Auburn University Philosophy Conference, “Moral and Aesthetic Testimony” will be held March 23 – 24 at Pebble Hill. The conference will take place from 9 – 5 each day, and is free and open to everyone. The speakers in this conference are the top international philosophers working on the topic of Moral and Aesthetic Testimony. They will explore views of aesthetic testimony and moral testimony. Is there indeed a problem regarding moral testimony and aesthetic testimony, and if there is a problem, what is its nature? Is it epistemic, moral, aesthetic, or other? To explore these questions, the speakers will compare the moral and aesthetic domains both with other domains where testimony seems to be a legitimate ground of one’s judgments, and with each other. 
Abstract: Imagine we go out to lunch and you notice I don’t order any of the meat dishes in spite of my love for meat. You ask me what’s going on, and I answer that I have become vegetarian. You ask “why?” and I tell you that I stopped eating meat because my friend Susan told me that it is morally wrong. When you ask further why I find it morally wrong, I answer: “I don’t know why it is morally wrong but I trust Susan.” Now imagine that on the way out of the restaurant you run into your friend Bob on the street, and he insists that you have to see the new Woody Allen film because, he says, “it’s great.” “When did you see it?” you ask Bob, knowing he has been very busy applying for jobs recently, and he replies: “Oh, I’ve never seen the film, but I read an excellent review of it.” On the face of it, there seems to be something odd or even unacceptable both about my becoming a vegetarian on this basis and about Bob’s judgment of the film on this basis. Many philosophers think that these cases are representative of a general problem regarding moral testimony and aesthetic testimony. The thought is that moral testimony is not a proper ground of one’s own moral beliefs and actions, and aesthetic testimony is not a proper ground of one’s own aesthetic judgments.