Evolution, naturalism, and the worthwhile: A critique of Richard Joyce's evolutionary debunking of morality
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Metaphilosophy 42 (4):520-546 (2011)
Abstract: In The Evolution of Morality, Richard Joyce argues there is good reason to think that the “moral sense” is a biological adaptation, and that this provides a genealogy of the moral sense that has a debunking effect, driving us to the conclusion that “our moral beliefs are products of a process that is entirely independent of their truth, … we have no grounds one way or the other for maintaining these beliefs.” I argue that Joyce's skeptical conclusion is not warranted. Even if the moral sense is a biological adaptation, developed moralities (such as Aristotelian eudaimonism) can “co-opt” it into new roles so that the moral judgments it makes possible can come to transcend the evolutionary process that is “entirely independent of their truth.” While evolutionary theory can shed much light on our shared human nature, moral theories must still be vindicated, or debunked, by moral arguments.
|Keywords||Richard Joyce eudaimonism evolution of morality naturalism|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Rosalind Hursthouse (1999/2001). On Virtue Ethics. Oxford University Press.
Bernard Arthur Owen Williams (1985). Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy. Harvard University Press.
Christine M. Korsgaard (1996). The Sources of Normativity. Cambridge University Press.
Alvin Plantinga (1993). Warrant and Proper Function. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Brendan Cline (2015). Nativism and the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):231-253.
Similar books and articles
Erik J. Wielenberg (2010). On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Ethics 120 (3):441-464.
Ben Fraser (2012). The Nature of Moral Judgements and the Extent of the Moral Domain. Philosophical Explorations 15 (1):1-16.
Jon Tresan (2010). Question Authority: In Defense of Moral Naturalism Without Clout. Philosophical Studies 150 (2):221 - 238.
John S. Wilkins & Paul E. Griffiths (forthcoming). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Three Domains: Fact, Value, and Religion. In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge
Guy Kahane (2011). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments. Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Justin Clarke-Doane (2012). Morality and Mathematics: The Evolutionary Challenge. Ethics 122 (2):313-340.
Fritz Allhoff (2009). The Evolution of the Moral Sentiments and the Metaphysics of Morals. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (1):97 - 114.
Richard Joyce (2001). The Myth of Morality. Cambridge University Press.
Kevin Brosnan (2011). Do the Evolutionary Origins of Our Moral Beliefs Undermine Moral Knowledge? Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):51-64.
Brian Edward Zamulinski (2007). Evolutionary Intuitionism: A Theory of the Origin and Nature of Moral Facts. Mcgill-Queen's University Press.
Scott James (2009). The Caveman's Conscience: Evolution and Moral Realism. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (2):215-233.
Richard Joyce (2008). Précis of The Evolution of Morality. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):213-218.
Ben Fraser (2010). Adaptation, Exaptation, By-Products and Spandrels in Evolutionary Explanations of Morality. Biological Theory 5 (3):223-227.
Added to index2011-07-05
Total downloads102 ( #36,796 of 1,790,533 )
Recent downloads (6 months)8 ( #106,758 of 1,790,533 )
How can I increase my downloads?