David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Noûs 45 (1):103-125 (2011)
Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) are arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of evaluative beliefs to undermine their justification. This paper aims to clarify the premises and presuppositions of EDAs—a form of argument that is increasingly put to use in normative ethics. I argue that such arguments face serious obstacles. It is often overlooked, for example, that they presuppose the truth of metaethical objectivism. More importantly, even if objectivism is assumed, the use of EDAs in normative ethics is incompatible with a parallel and more sweeping global evolutionary debunking argument that has been discussed in recent metaethics. After examining several ways of responding to this global debunking argument, I end by arguing that even if we could resist it, this would still not rehabilitate the current targeted use of EDAs in normative ethics given that, if EDAs work at all, they will in any case lead to a truly radical revision of our evaluative outlook.
|Keywords||Evolution Debunking arguments Sharon Street Richard Joyce|
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References found in this work BETA
Peter Singer (1993). Practical Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Thomas Nagel (1986). The View From Nowhere. Oxford University Press.
Derek Parfit (1984). Reasons and Persons. Oxford University Press.
Alvin Plantinga (1993). Warrant and Proper Function. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Maarten Boudry, Fabio Paglieri & Massimo Pigliucci (2015). The Fake, the Flimsy, and the Fallacious: Demarcating Arguments in Real Life. Argumentation 2015 (4):10.1007/s10503-015-9359-1.
Katia Vavova (2015). Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism. Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau (2014). The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism. Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
William J. FitzPatrick (2015). Debunking Evolutionary Debunking of Ethical Realism. Philosophical Studies 172 (4):883-904.
David Rose (2015). Persistence Through Function Preservation. Synthese 192 (1):97-146.
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