The Peculiar Significance of Evaluative Testimony
In general, it is rational to give significant credence to other people’s testimony - we can often justifiably form beliefs based purely on their say-so, and when they disagree with us we have some reason to reconsider our views. But when we are trying to assess whether something is good, their opinions often seem to have much less impact on what we should believe. What explains this difference? I argue that no mainstream theory of what it is to believe something is valuable can offer a satisfactory explanation; only a form of relativism or contextualism - according to which neither party in such a dispute is necessarily mistaken - can account for this aspect of the epistemology of value.