By Jamie Carlin Watson
Ethics consulting is a growing practice in business, medical, and research contexts. And given the unique subject matter of ethics, there are concerns about the role of ethicists in professional decision-making, even among ethicists. Foremost among these is whether ethicists can, like authorities in other fields, speak as experts about their subject matter. I am currently working on a problem for moral expertise called the credentials problem: arguments that there are no sufficient reasons for non-ethicists to assign greater evidential weight to the testimony of ethicists about what one ought to do than to anyone else’s. I am working on an argument defending the moral expertise of consulting ethicists against this problem, but along the way, I’ve come across a popular objection to moral expertise that I call the distribution problem. While this problem has important implications for how we should respond to moral testimony, I don't think it is a challenge for the plausibility moral expertise. Here’s why.