About this topic
Summary

Debunking arguments in morality aim to show that our having the moral beliefs that we do is best explained by something other than our accurately tracking the relevant moral properties or facts. Thus, so the debunkers claim, our best explanation for our having the moral beliefs we do threatens to undermine our epistemic justification for having those beliefs. For these reasons, debunking arguments in morality typically target moral realism. For current purposes, we can portray moral realism as consisting of a psychological claim and a metaphysical claim. The moral realist’s psychological claim is that moral judgments are a type of belief such that moral judgments are capable of being either true false depending on whether they correspond to the relevant moral fact(s). The metaphysical claim is that moral facts or properties, such as the property of being morally obligatory or the property of being morally wrong, exist independently of anyone’s beliefs or values. For example, a moral realist would claim that slavery is wrong even if everyone who ever existed thought it was morally permissible. However, if the debunkers are correct, our belief that slavery is wrong is best explained by factors that do not convey epistemic warrant on that (or any) moral belief.

Key works Some of the most frequently discussed works in the current metaethical debunking literature are chapter 6 of Joyce 2005, Street 2006, and Singer 2005
Introductions Korman 2019 provides a useful introduction to debunking arguments across philosophy. 
Related

Contents
128 found
Order:
1 — 50 / 128
  1. Change in Moral View: Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology.Michael Klenk - forthcoming - In Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York, NY: Routledge.
    Most epistemologists maintain that we are rationally required to believe what our evidence supports. Generally speaking, any factor that makes it more probable that a given state of affairs obtains (or does not obtain) is evidence (for that state of affairs). In line with this view, many metaethicists believe that we are rationally required to believe what’s morally right and wrong based on what our moral evidence (e.g. our moral intuitions, along with descriptive information about the world) supports. However, sometimes (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  2. Contingency, Sociality, and Moral Progress.Olof Leffler - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.
    A debate has recently appeared regarding whether non-naturalism is better than other metaethical views at explaining moral progress. I shall take the occasion of this debate to present a novel debunking dilemma for moral non-naturalists, extending Sharon Street's Darwinian one. I will argue that moral progress indicates that our moral attitudes tend to reflect contingent sociocultural and psychological factors. For non-naturalists, there is then either a relation between these factors and the moral facts, non-naturalistically construed, or there is not. If (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  3. Disagreement and Doubts About Darwinian Debunking.Alexandra Plakias - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments draw on claims about the biological origins of our moral beliefs to undermine moral realism. In this paper, I argue that moral disagreement gives us reason to doubt the evolutionary explanations of moral judgment on which such arguments rely. The extent of cross-cultural and historical moral diversity suggests that evolution can’t explain the content of moral norms. Nor can it explain the capacity to make moral judgment in the way the debunker requires: empirical studies of folk moral (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  4. Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense.Eric Sampson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean arguments can be used against nihilists in ethics (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  5. Evolutionary Debunking and the Folk/Theoretical Distinction.M. Scarfone - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-19.
    In metaethics, evolutionary debunking arguments combine empirical and epistemological premises to purportedly show that our moral judgments are unjustified. One objection to these arguments has been to distinguish between those judgments that evolutionary influence might undermine versus those that it does not. This response is powerful but not well understood. In this paper I flesh out the response by drawing upon a familiar distinction in the natural sciences, where it is common to distinguish folk judgments from theoretical judgments. I argue (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  6. Eliciting and Assessing our Moral Risk Preferences.Shang Long Yeo - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    Suppose an agent is choosing between rescuing more people with a lower probability of success, and rescuing fewer with a higher probability of success. How should they choose? Our moral judgments about such cases are not well-studied, unlike the closely analogous non-moral preferences over monetary gambles. In this paper, I present an empirical study which aims to elicit the moral analogues of our risk preferences, and to assess whether one kind of evidence – concerning how they depend on outcome probabilities (...)
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  7. L'evoluzione della morale per selezione naturale.Andrea Guardo - 2024 - Milano: Raffaello Cortina Editore.
    Secondo un programma di ricerca inaugurato da Darwin e oggi sempre più popolare, gli aspetti fondamentali della nostra psicologia morale sono il prodotto della selezione naturale. Le nostre convinzioni morali, così come la nostra tendenza a comportarci in accordo con queste convinzioni, sarebbero il risultato di processi analoghi a quelli che hanno prodotto il collo delle giraffe e le ali degli uccelli: la ragione per cui siamo convinti di dover tener fede alla parola data è che questa credenza è stata (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  8. Explanationism versus Modalism in Debunking (and Theory Choice).Harjit Bhogal - 2023 - Mind 132 (528):1005-1027.
    At the core of the recent debate over moral debunking arguments is a disagreement between explanationist and modalist approaches. Explanationists think that the lack of an explanatory connection between our moral beliefs and the moral truths, given a non-naturalist realist conception of morality, is a reason to reject non-naturalism. Modalists disagree. They say that, given non-naturalism, our beliefs have the appropriate modal features with respect to truth -- in particular they are safe and sensitive -- so there is no problem. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  9. How Gene–Culture Coevolution Can—but Probably Did Not—Track Mind-Independent Moral Truth.Nathan Cofnas - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):414-434.
    I argue that our general disposition to make moral judgments and our core moral intuitions are likely the product of social selection—a kind of gene–culture coevolution driven by the enforcement of collectively agreed-upon rules. Social selection could potentially track mind-independent moral truth by a process that I term realist social selection: our ancestors could have acquired moral knowledge via reason and enforced rules based on that knowledge, thereby creating selection pressures that drove the evolution of our moral psychology. Given anthropological (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  10. From Moral Realism to Axiarchism.Brian Cutter - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:73-101.
    Moral realism faces a well known genealogical debunking challenge. I argue that the moral realist’s best response may involve abandoning metaphysical naturalism in favor of some form of axiarchism—the view, very roughly, that the natural world is “ordered to the good.” Axiarchism comes in both theistic and non-theistic forms, but all forms agree that the natural world exists and has certain basic features because it is good for it to exist and have those features. I argue that theistic and non-theistic (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  11. Modal Security and Evolutionary Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:135-156.
    According to principles of modal security, evidence undermines a belief only when it calls into question certain purportedly important modal connections between one’s beliefs and the truth (e.g., safety or sensitivity). Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras have advanced such principles with the aim of blocking evolutionary moral debunking arguments. We examine a variety of different principles of modal security, showing that some of these are too strong, failing to accommodate clear cases of undermining, while others are too weak, failing to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  12. Evolutionary debunking of (arguments for) moral realism.Arnon Levy & Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-22.
    Moral realism is often taken to have common sense and initial appearances on its side. Indeed, by some lights, common sense and initial appearances underlie all the central positive arguments for moral realism. We offer a kind of debunking argument, taking aim at realism’s common sense standing. Our argument differs from familiar debunking moves both in its empirical assumptions and in how it targets the realist position. We argue that if natural selection explains the objective phenomenology of moral deliberation and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  13. Explanation and evaluation in Foucault's genealogy of morality.Eli B. Lichtenstein - 2023 - European Journal of Philosophy 31 (3):731-747.
    Philosophers have cataloged a range of genealogical methods by which different sorts of normative conclusions can be established. Although such methods provide diverging ways of pursuing genealogical inquiry, they typically converge in eschewing historiographic methodology, in favor of a uniquely philosophical approach. In contrast, one genealogist who drew on historiographic methodology is Michel Foucault. This article presents the motivations and advantages of Foucault's genealogical use of such a methodology. It advances two mains claims. First, that Foucault's early 1970s work employs (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  14. Introduction.Diego E. Machuca - 2023 - In Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-12.
  15. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology.Diego E. Machuca (ed.) - 2023 - New York: Routledge.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in evolutionary debunking arguments directed against certain types of belief, particularly moral and religious beliefs. According to those arguments, the evolutionary origins of the cognitive mechanisms that produce the targeted beliefs render these beliefs epistemically unjustified. The reason is that natural selection cares for reproduction and survival rather than truth, and false beliefs can in principle be as evolutionarily advantageous as true beliefs. The present volume brings together fourteen essays that examine evolutionary (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  16. Debunking Concepts.Matthieu Queloz - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47 (1):195-225.
    Genealogies of belief have dominated recent philosophical discussions of genealogical debunking at the expense of genealogies of concepts, which has in turn focused attention on genealogical debunking in an epistemological key. As I argue in this paper, however, this double focus encourages an overly narrow understanding of genealogical debunking. First, not all genealogical debunking can be reduced to the debunking of beliefs—concepts can be debunked without debunking any particular belief, just as beliefs can be debunked without debunking the concepts in (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  17. Toward a Perceptual Solution to Epistemological Objections to Nonnaturalism.Preston Werner - 2023 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 24 (3).
    Stance-independent nonnaturalist moral realism is subject to two related epistemological objections. First, there is the metaethical descendant of the Benacerraf problem. Second, there are evolutionary debunking arguments. Standard attempts to solve these epistemological problems have not appealed to any particular moral epistemology. The focus on these epistemologically neutral responses leaves many interesting theoretical stones unturned. Exploring the ability of particular theories in moral epistemology to handle these difficult epistemological objections can help illuminate strengths or weaknesses within these theories themselves, as (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  18. What's the coincidence in debunking?Harjit Bhogal - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):147-167.
    Many moral debunking arguments are driven by the idea that the correlation between our moral beliefs and the moral truths is a big coincidence, given a robustly realist conception of morality.One influential response is that the correlation is not a coincidence because there is a common explainer of our moral beliefs and the moral truths. For example, the reason that I believe that I should feed my child is because feeding my child helps them to survive, and natural selection instills (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  19. Do Humans Have a Reliable Conscience?Matthew Braddock - 2022 - Theological Puzzles.
    Do humans have a reliable conscience? Do we have generally reliable (though fallible) moral intuitions? Many believe so. However, this idea is hard to reconcile with two broad scientific findings. First, consider the extensive moral diversity documented in the scientific literature. The moral differences we find across cultures and history should make us wonder whether we humans really do have a reliable conscience. Second, consider the influential role of culture. The scientific literature tells us that cultural processes largely determine the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  20. The Golden Rule: A Naturalistic Perspective.Nathan Cofnas - 2022 - Utilitas 34 (3):262-274.
    A number of philosophers from Hobbes to Mill to Parfit have held some combination of the following views about the Golden Rule: (a) It is the cornerstone of morality across many if not all cultures. (b) It affirms the value of moral impartiality, and potentially the core idea of utilitarianism. (c) It is immune from evolutionary debunking, that is, there is no good naturalistic explanation for widespread acceptance of the Golden Rule, ergo the best explanation for its appearance in different (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  21. The evolution of moral belief: support for the debunker’s causal premise.Michael T. Dale - 2022 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 44 (2):1-18.
    The causal premise of the evolutionary debunking argument contends that human moral beliefs are explained by the process of natural selection. While it is universally acknowledged that such a premise is fundamental to the debunker’s case, the vast majority of philosophers focus instead on the epistemic premise that natural selection does not track moral truth and the resulting skeptical conclusion. Recently, however, some have begun to concentrate on the causal premise. So far, the upshot of this small but growing literature (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  22. Evolutionary Explanations of Our Reliability.Sinan Dogramaci - 2022 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 17 (1):197-224.
    It can easily look like evolution is in a better position to explain the reliability of our perceptual beliefs than the reliability of our moral beliefs. This paper takes a closer look at the issue and argues that there’s no reason—no reason which armchair philosophers could uncover—to think evolution can better explain perceptual reliability than moral reliability. It also offers a diagnosis of why it seemed otherwise. The diagnosis concerns our need to use the truth predicate as a generalizing logical (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  23. Morality as Cure and Poison in Nietzsche's Genealogy.Ian D. Dunkle - 2022 - Journal of Nietzsche Studies 53 (1):34-58.
    Nietzsche argues in the Genealogy of Morality (GM) that key aspects of modern European morality arose as “cures” for widespread human sickness but are ultimately making us sicker (“poisoning” us). This article provides a systematic overview of how Nietzsche believes morality has functioned as a cure and poison for European humanity. Drawing on my own previous work on Nietzsche’s concept of health, I sketch an overview of the (1) sicknesses, (2) treatments, and (3) pathogeneses discussed in each of the three (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  24. Problems for Moral Debunkers: On the Logic and Limits of Empirically Informed Ethics.Peter Königs - 2022 - Boston: De Gruyter.
    One the most interesting debates in moral philosophy revolves around the significance of empirical moral psychology for moral philosophy. Genealogical arguments that rely on empirical findings about the origins of moral beliefs, so-called debunking arguments, take center stage in this debate. Looking at debunking arguments based on evidence from evolutionary moral psychology, experimental ethics and neuroscience, this book explores what ethicists can learn from the science of morality, and what they cannot. Among other things, the book offers a new take (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  25. The Evolutionary Debunking of Quasi-Realism.Neil Sinclair & James Chamberlain - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. London: Routledge. pp. 33-55.
    In “The Evolutionary Debunking of Quasi-Realism,” Neil Sinclair and James Chamberlain present a novel answer that quasi-realists can pro-vide to a version of the reliability challenge in ethics—which asks for an explanation of why our moral beliefs are generally true—and in so doing, they examine whether evolutionary arguments can debunk quasi-realism. Although reliability challenges differ from EDAs in several respects, there may well be a connection between them. For the explanatory premise of an EDA may state that a particular theory (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  26. Hope for the Evolutionary Debunker: How Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and Arguments from Moral Disagreement Can Join Forces.Folke Tersman & Olle Risberg - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Facts about moral disagreement and human evolution have both been said to exclude the possibility of moral knowledge, but the question of how these challenges interact has largely gone unaddressed. The paper aims to present and defend a novel version of the evolutionary “debunking” argument for moral skepticism that appeals to both types of considerations. This argument has several advantages compared to more familiar versions. The standard debunking strategy is to argue that evolutionary accounts of moral beliefs generate skeptical implications (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  27. Genealogical Solutions to the Problem of Critical Distance: Political Theory, Contextualism and the case of Punishment in Transitional Scenarios.Francesco Testini - 2022 - Res Publica 28 (2):271-301.
    In this paper, I argue that one approach to normative political theory, namely contextualism, can benefit from a specific kind of historical inquiry, namely genealogy, because the latter provides a solution to a deep-seated problem for the former. This problem consists in a lack of critical distance and originates from the justificatory role that contextualist approaches attribute to contextual facts. I compare two approaches to genealogical reconstruction, namely the historiographical method pioneered by Foucault and the hybrid method of pragmatic genealogy (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  28. By Which We May Be Judged: Moral Epistemology, Mind-Independent Truth Conditions And Sources Of Normativity.Maarten Van Doorn - 2022 - Dissertation, Central European University
    Many hope that our values, purged of messy human contingency, could aspire to correspond with mind-independent, rationally obligatory, and eternal ethical facts. But if the arguments of this thesis are on the right track, we should reject the search for non-natural and mind-independent moral truths.
    Remove from this list  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  29. Han Feizi’s Genealogical Arguments.Lee Wilson - 2022 - In Eirik Lang Harris & Henrique Schneider (eds.), Adventures in Chinese Realism: Classic Philosophy Applied to Contemporary Issues. Albany: SUNY Press. pp. 171–193.
    Han Feizi’s criticisms of Confucian and Mohist political recommendations are often thought to involve materialist or historicist arguments, independently of their epistemological features. Drawing largely on Amia Srinivasan’s recent taxonomy of genealogical arguments, this paper proposes a genealogical reading of passages in “The Five Vermin [五蠹 wudu]” and “Eminence in Learning [顯學 xianxue].” This reveals Han Feizi’s arguments to be more comprehensively appreciated as problematizing Confucian and Mohist political judgments as arising from undermining contingencies, rendering them irrelevant, if not detrimental, (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  30. The Contingency of the Cultural Evolution of Morality, Debunking, and Theism vs. Naturalism.Matthew Braddock - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 179-201.
    Is the cultural evolution of morality fairly contingent? Could cultural evolution have easily led humans to moral norms and judgments that are mostly false by our present lights? If so, does it matter philosophically? Yes, or so we argue. We empirically motivate the contingency of cultural evolution and show that it makes two major philosophical contributions. First, it shows that moral objectivists cannot explain the reliability of our moral judgments and thus strengthens moral debunking arguments. Second, it shows that the (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  31. Why undermining evolutionary debunkers is not enough.Andrew del Rio - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7437-7452.
    Denying the conclusion of a valid argument is not generally permissible if one suspends on one premise of the argument and believes the other premise. This can happen when one’s only critique of an argument is to undermine one premise. There is incoherence there. Here I examine how this is relevant to the debate on evolutionary debunking of our moral knowledge. I argue that one significant line of response to the debunker is unsuccessful: merely undermining the debunker’s empirical claim. It (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  32. Are We Playing a Moral Lottery? Moral Disagreement from a Metasemantic Perspective.Sinan Dogramaci - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):523-550.
    If someone disagrees with my moral views, or more generally if I’m in a group of n people who all disagree with each other, but I don’t have any special evidence or basis for my epistemic superiority, then it’s at best a 1-in-n chance that my views are correct. The skeptical threat from disagreement is thus a kind of moral lottery, to adapt a similar metaphor from Sharon Street. Her own genealogical debunking argument, as I discuss, relies on a premise (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  33. The epistemology of evolutionary debunking.Justis Koon - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12155-12176.
    Fifteen years ago, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce advanced evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism, which purported to show that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes moral realism untenable. These arguments have since given rise to a flurry of objections; the epistemic principles Street and Joyce relied upon, in particular, have come in for a number of serious challenges. My goal in this paper is to develop a new account of evolutionary debunking which avoids the pitfalls Street and (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  34. A dilemma for evolutionary debunking arguments.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):45-69.
    Evolutionary debunkers claim that evolutionary explanations of moral phenomena lead to sceptical conclusions. The aim of this paper is to show that even if we grant debunkers the speculative claims that evolution provides the best explanation of moral phenomena and that there are no other moral phenomena for which moral facts/properties are indispensable, the sceptical conclusions debunkers seek to establish still do not follow. The problem for debunkers is to link the empirical explanatory claim to the normative conclusion that moral (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  35. Theistic Moral Realism, Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, and a Catholic Philosophy of Nature.Michael Rauschenbach - 2021 - 2019 Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments, whether defended by Street (2006), Joyce (2006), or others against moral realism, or by Plantinga (1993, 2011) and others against atheism, seek to determine the implications of the still-dominant worldview of naturalism. Examining them is thus a critical component of any defense of a theistic philosophy of nature. Recently, several authors have explored the connection between evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism (hence: EDAs) and Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalistic atheism (hence: EAAN). Typically, responses in this vein (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  36. Against the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality: Deconstructing a Philosophical Myth.Alejandro Rosas - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 135-150.
    Evolutionary ethics debunks moral realism – or value realism in general – but this is not the same as debunking the authority of moral claims, for moral realism is not the only possible explanation of the source of moral authority. However, a few influential evolutionary philosophers do believe that evolution debunks not just moral realism, but morality, period. My main purpose in this paper is to highlight the difference between these two versions of debunking, and to extricate evolutionary theory from (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  37. Realism, reliability, and epistemic possibility: on modally interpreting the Benacerraf–Field challenge.Brett Topey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4415-4436.
    A Benacerraf–Field challenge is an argument intended to show that common realist theories of a given domain are untenable: such theories make it impossible to explain how we’ve arrived at the truth in that domain, and insofar as a theory makes our reliability in a domain inexplicable, we must either reject that theory or give up the relevant beliefs. But there’s no consensus about what would count here as a satisfactory explanation of our reliability. It’s sometimes suggested that giving such (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   4 citations  
  38. The Limits of Rational Belief Revision: A Dilemma for the Darwinian Debunker.Katia Vavova - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):717-734.
    We are fallible creatures, prone to making all sorts of mistakes. So, we should be open to evidence of error. But what constitutes such evidence? And what is it to rationally accommodate it? I approach these questions by considering an evolutionary debunking argument according to which (a) we have good, scientific, reason to think our moral beliefs are mistaken, and (b) rationally accommodating this requires revising our confidence in, or altogether abandoning the suspect beliefs. I present a dilemma for such (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   11 citations  
  39. A Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments in ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1673-1692.
    Debunking arguments in ethics contend that our moral beliefs have dubious evolutionary, cultural, or psychological origins—hence concluding that we should doubt such beliefs. Debates about debunking are often couched in coarse-grained terms—about whether our moral beliefs are justified or not, for instance. In this paper, I propose a more detailed Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments, which proceeds in the fine-grained framework of rational confidence. Such analysis promises several payoffs: it highlights how debunking arguments don’t affect all agents, but rather only (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  40. How can necessary facts call for explanation.Dan Baras - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11607-11624.
    While there has been much discussion about what makes some mathematical proofs more explanatory than others, and what are mathematical coincidences, in this article I explore the distinct phenomenon of mathematical facts that call for explanation. The existence of mathematical facts that call for explanation stands in tension with virtually all existing accounts of “calling for explanation”, which imply that necessary facts cannot call for explanation. In this paper I explore what theoretical revisions are needed in order to accommodate this (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   2 citations  
  41. No need to get up from the armchair.Dan Baras - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):575-590.
    Several authors believe that metaethicists ought to leave their comfortable armchairs and engage with serious empirical research. This paper provides partial support for the opposing view, that metaethics is rightly conducted from the armchair. It does so by focusing on debunking arguments against robust moral realism. Specifically, the article discusses arguments based on the possibility that if robust realism is correct, then our beliefs are most likely insensitive to the relevant truths. These arguments seem at first glance to be dependent (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  42. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   13 citations  
  43. Evolutionary debunking arguments, commonsense and scepticism.Sandy C. Boucher - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11217-11239.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments seek to infer from the evolutionary origin of human beliefs about a particular domain to the conclusion that those beliefs are unjustified. In this paper I discuss EDAs with respect to our everyday, commonsense beliefs. Those who seriously entertain EDAs for commonsense argue that natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness, and thus it will equip us with beliefs that are useful rather than true. In recent work Griffiths and Wilkins argue that (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   1 citation  
  44. Morality and Mathematics.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2020 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    To what extent are the subjects of our thoughts and talk real? This is the question of realism. In this book, Justin Clarke-Doane explores arguments for and against moral realism and mathematical realism, how they interact, and what they can tell us about areas of philosophical interest more generally. He argues that, contrary to widespread belief, our mathematical beliefs have no better claim to being self-evident or provable than our moral beliefs. Nor do our mathematical beliefs have better claim to (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   37 citations  
  45. Big History, Value, and the Art of Continued Existence.Brendan Cline - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):901-930.
    There has lately been substantial interest in scrutinizing our evaluative attitudes in light of our evolutionary history. However, these discussions have been hampered by an insufficiently expansive vantage. Our history did not begin ex nihilo a few million years ago with the appearance of hominins, or apes, or primates—those are very recent chapters of a much larger story that spans billions of years. This paper situates the mechanisms underlying normative thought within this broader context. I argue that this historical perspective (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark  
  46. A debunking explanation for moral progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3171-3191.
    According to “debunking arguments,” our moral beliefs are explained by evolutionary and cultural processes that do not track objective, mind-independent moral truth. Therefore (the debunkers say) we ought to be skeptics about moral realism. Huemer counters that “moral progress”—the cross-cultural convergence on liberalism—cannot be explained by debunking arguments. According to him, the best explanation for this phenomenon is that people have come to recognize the objective correctness of liberalism. Although Huemer may be the first philosopher to make this explicit empirical (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   10 citations  
  47. Are moral norms rooted in instincts? The sibling incest taboo as a case study.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (5):47.
    According to Westermarck’s widely accepted explanation of the incest taboo, cultural prohibitions on sibling sex are rooted in an evolved biological disposition to feel sexual aversion toward our childhood coresidents. Bernard Williams posed the “representation problem” for Westermarck’s theory: the content of the hypothesized instinct is different from the content of the incest taboo —thus the former cannot be causally responsible for the latter. Arthur Wolf posed the related “moralization problem”: the instinct concerns personal behavior whereas the prohibition concerns everyone. (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  48. Richard Joyce, Essays in Moral Skepticism (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016), pp. ix + 274. [REVIEW]Jessica Isserow - 2020 - Utilitas 32 (1):126-129.
  49. Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology.Michael Klenk (ed.) - 2020 - New York: Routledge.
    This book offers a systematic look at current challenges in moral epistemology through the lens of research on higher-order evidence. Fueled by recent advances in empirical research, higher-order evidence has generated a wealth of insights about the genealogy of moral beliefs. Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology explores how these insights have an impact on the epistemic status of moral beliefs. The essays are divided into four thematic sections. Part I addresses the normative significance of higher-order evidence for moral epistemology. Part (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
  50. Charting Moral Psychology’s Significance for Bioethics: Routes to Bioethical Progress, its Limits, and Lessons from Moral Philosophy.Michael Klenk - 2020 - Diametros 17 (64):36-55.
    Empirical moral psychology is sometimes dismissed as normatively insignificant because it plays no decisive role in settling ethical disputes. But that conclusion, even if it is valid for normative ethics, does not extend to bioethics. First, in contrast to normative ethics, bioethics can legitimately proceed from a presupposed moral framework. Within that framework, moral psychology can be shown to play four significant roles: it can improve bioethicists’ understanding of the decision situation, the origin and legitimacy of their moral concepts, efficient (...)
    Remove from this list   Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    Bookmark   3 citations  
1 — 50 / 128