David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. Routledge (forthcoming)
Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can be expected to design systems that produce true beliefs in some domain. This reply works for commonsense beliefs and can be extended to scientific beliefs. But it does not work for moral or religious beliefs. An alternative reply which has been used defend moral beliefs is that their truth does not consist in their tracking some external state of affairs. Whether or not it is successful in the case of moral beliefs, this reply is less plausible for religious beliefs. So religious beliefs emerge as particularly vulnerable to evolutionary debunking.
|Keywords||Evolutionary epistemology Philosophy of religion Alvin Pantinga|
|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
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Helen De Cruz (2015). The Relevance of Hume's Natural History of Religion for Cognitive Science of Religion. Res Philosophica 92 (3):653-674.
Jonathan Jong (2013). Explaining Religion (Away?). Sophia 52 (3):521-533.
Similar books and articles
Paul E. Griffiths & John S. Wilkins (forthcoming). When Do Evolutionary Explanations of Belief Debunk Belief? In Darwin in the 21st Century.
Christopher Toner (2011). Evolution, Naturalism, and the Worthwhile: A Critique of Richard Joyce's Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Metaphilosophy 42 (4):520-546.
Geoff Childers (2011). What's Wrong with the Evolutionary Argument Against Naturalism? International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 69 (3):193-204.
Guy Kahane (2011). Evolutionary Debunking Arguments. Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Erik J. Wielenberg (2010). On the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality. Ethics 120 (3):441-464.
Gregory R. Peterson (2010). Are Evolutionary/Cognitive Theories of Religion Relevant for Philosophy of Religion? Zygon 45 (3):545-557.
Derek Leben (2012). When Psychology Undermines Beliefs. Philosophical Psychology (3):1-23.
Justin Clarke-Doane (2012). Morality and Mathematics: The Evolutionary Challenge. Ethics 122 (2):313-340.
Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke (2011). Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification. Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
Lee A. Kirkpatrick (2004). The Evolutionary Social Psychology of Religious Beliefs. Behavioral and Brain Sciences 27 (6):741-741.
Helen de Cruz & Johan de Smedt (2012). Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs. Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
John P. Reeder Jr (1997). What is a Religious Ethic? Journal of Religious Ethics 25 (3):157 - 181.
Brian Zamulinski (2004). Rejoinder to Mawson. Religious Studies 40 (3):365-366.
Added to index2012-09-10
Total downloads663 ( #648 of 1,780,154 )
Recent downloads (6 months)79 ( #12,080 of 1,780,154 )
How can I increase my downloads?