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Evolutionary Debunking Arguments

Noûs 45 (1):103-125 (2011)

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  1. Debunking (the) Retribution (Gap).Steven R. Kraaijeveld - 2019 - Science and Engineering Ethics:1-14.
    Robotization is an increasingly pervasive feature of our lives. Robots with high degrees of autonomy may cause harm, yet in sufciently complex systems neither the robots nor the human developers may be candidates for moral blame. John Danaher has recently argued that this may lead to a retribution gap, where the human desire for retribution faces a lack of appropriate subjects for retributive blame. The potential social and moral implications of a retribution gap are considerable. I argue that the retributive (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass.
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  • Evolved Cognitive Biases and the Epistemic Status of Scientific Beliefs.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (3):411-429.
    Our ability for scientific reasoning is a byproduct of cognitive faculties that evolved in response to problems related to survival and reproduction. Does this observation increase the epistemic standing of science, or should we treat scientific knowledge with suspicion? The conclusions one draws from applying evolutionary theory to scientific beliefs depend to an important extent on the validity of evolutionary arguments (EAs) or evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs). In this paper we show through an analytical model that cultural transmission of scientific (...)
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  • From Scepticism to Anti‐Realism.Folke Tersman - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):411-427.
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  • The Evolutionary Origins of Tensed Language and Belief.Heather Dyke - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (3):401-418.
    I outline the debate in metaphysics between those who believe time is tensed and those who believe it is tenseless. I describe the terms in which this debate has been carried out, and the significance to it of ordinary tensed language and widespread common sense beliefs that time is tensed. I then outline a case for thinking that our intuitive beliefs about tense constitute an Adaptive Imaginary Representation (Wilson, in Biol Philos 5:37–62, 1990; Wilson, in Biol Philos 10:77–97, 1995). I (...)
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  • The Armchair and the Trolley: An Argument for Experimental Ethics.Guy Kahane - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):421-445.
    Ethical theory often starts with our intuitions about particular cases and tries to uncover the principles that are implicit in them; work on the ‘trolley problem’ is a paradigmatic example of this approach. But ethicists are no longer the only ones chasing trolleys. In recent years, psychologists and neuroscientists have also turned to study our moral intuitions and what underlies them. The relation between these two inquiries, which investigate similar examples and intuitions, and sometimes produce parallel results, is puzzling. Does (...)
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  • How to Avoid Begging the Question Against Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.David Copp - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):231-245.
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  • Debunking, Vindication, and Moral Luck.Daniel Statman - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):203-223.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Normative Moral Neuroscience: The Third Tradition of Neuroethics.Geoffrey S. Holtzman - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (3):411-431.
    Neuroethics is typically conceived of as consisting of two traditions: the ethics of neuroscience and the neuroscience of moral judgment. However, recent work has sought to draw philosophical and ethical implications from the neuroscience of moral judgment. Such work, which concernsnormative moral neuroscience, is sufficiently distinct and complex to deserve recognition as a third tradition of neuroethics. Recognizing it as such can reduce confusion among researchers, eliminating conflations among both critics and proponents of NMN.This article identifies and unpacks some of (...)
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  • Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  • A Debunking Explanation for Moral Progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2019 - Philosophical Studies:1-21.
    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 (...)
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  • When and Why People Think Beliefs Are “Debunked” by Scientific Explanations of Their Origins.Dillon Plunkett, Lara Buchak & Tania Lombrozo - forthcoming - Mind and Language.
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  • Evolutionary Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1025-1045.
    Proponents of evolutionary debunking arguments aim to show that certain genealogical explanations of our moral faculties, if true, undermine our claim to moral knowledge. Criticisms of these arguments generally take the debunker’s genealogical explanation for granted. The task of the anti-debunker is thought to be that of reconciling the truth of this hypothesis with moral knowledge. In this paper, I shift the critical focus instead to the debunker’s empirical hypothesis and argue that the skeptical strength of an evolutionary debunking argument (...)
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  • Deontology Defended.Nora Heinzelmann - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5197–5216.
    Empirical research into moral decision-making is often taken to have normative implications. For instance, in his recent book, Greene (2013) relies on empirical findings to establish utilitarianism as a superior normative ethical theory. Kantian ethics, and deontological ethics more generally, is a rival view that Greene attacks. At the heart of Greene’s argument against deontology is the claim that deontological moral judgments are the product of certain emotions and not of reason. Deontological ethics is a mere rationalization of these emotions. (...)
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  • The Problem with Yuppie Ethics.Iason Gabriel - 2018 - Utilitas 30 (1):32-53.
    How much personal partiality do agent-centred prerogatives allow? If there are limits on what morality may demand of us, then how much does it permit? For a view Henry Shue has termed ‘yuppie ethics’, the answer to both questions is a great deal. It holds that rich people are morally permitted to spend large amounts of money on themselves, even when this means leaving those living in extreme poverty unaided. Against this view, I demonstrate that personal permissions are limited in (...)
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  • Recognizing Argument Types and Adding Missing Reasons.Christoph Lumer - 2019 - In Bart J. Garssen, David Godden, Gordon Mitchell & Jean Wagemans (eds.), Proceedings of the Ninth Conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation (ISSA). [Amsterdam, July 3-6, 2018.]. Amsterdam (Netherlands): pp. 769-777.
    The article develops and justifies, on the basis of the epistemological argumentation theory, two central pieces of the theory of evaluative argumentation interpretation: 1. criteria for recognizing argument types and 2. rules for adding reasons to create ideal arguments. Ad 1: The criteria for identifying argument types are a selection of essential elements from the definitions of the respective argument types. Ad 2: After presenting the general principles for adding reasons (benevolence, authenticity, immanence, optimization), heuristics are proposed for finding missing (...)
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  • How to Use the Experience Machine.Eden Lin - 2016 - Utilitas 28 (3):314-332.
    The experience machine was traditionally thought to refute hedonism about welfare. In recent years, however, the tide has turned: many philosophers have argued not merely that the experience machine doesn't rule out hedonism, but that it doesn't count against it at all. I argue for a moderate position between those two extremes: although the experience machine doesn't decisively rule out hedonism, it provides us with some reason to reject it. I also argue for a particular way of using the experience (...)
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  • Moral Error Theories and Folk Metaethics.Benjamin Fraser - 2014 - Philosophical Psychology 27 (6):1-18.
    In this paper, I distinguish between two error theories of morality: one couched in terms of truth ; the other in terms of justification. I then present two arguments: the Poisoned Presupposition Argument for ET1; and the Evolutionary Debunking Argument for ET2. I go on to show how assessing these arguments requires paying attention to empirical moral psychology, in particular, work on folk metaethics. After criticizing extant work, I suggest avenues for future research.
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  • Common Minds, Uncommon Thoughts: A Philosophical Anthropological Investigation of Uniquely Human Creative Behavior, with an Emphasis on Artistic Ability, Religious Reflection, and Scientific Study.Johan De Smedt - unknown
    The aim of this dissertation is to create a naturalistic philosophical picture of creative capacities that are specific to our species, focusing on artistic ability, religious reflection, and scientific study. By integrating data from diverse domains within a philosophical anthropological framework, I have presented a cognitive and evolutionary approach to the question of why humans, but not other animals engage in such activities. Through an application of cognitive and evolutionary perspectives to the study of these behaviors, I have sought to (...)
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  • Evolutionary Skepticism About Morality and Prudential Normativity.Peter Königs - 2018 - Philosophia 46 (4):911-928.
    SEE BELOW ("EXTERNAL LINKS") FOR A FREELY AVAILABLE PDF OF THIS ARTICLE /// ABSTRACT: Debunking arguments aim at defeating the justification of a belief by revealing the belief to have a dubious genealogy. One prominent example of such a debunking argument is Richard Joyce’s evolutionary debunking explanation of morality. Joyce’s argument targets only our belief in moral facts, while our belief in prudential facts is exempt from his evolutionary critique. In this paper, I suggest that our belief in prudential facts (...)
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  • On the Normative Insignificance of Neuroscience and Dual-Process Theory.Peter Königs - 2018 - Neuroethics 11 (2):195-209.
    SEE BELOW ("EXTERNAL LINKS") FOR A FREELY AVAILABLE PDF OF THIS ARTICLE /// ABSTRACT: According to the dual-process account of moral judgment, deontological and utilitarian judgments stem from two different cognitive systems. Deontological judgments are effortless, intuitive and emotion-driven, whereas utilitarian judgments are effortful, reasoned and dispassionate. The most notable evidence for dual-process theory comes from neuroimaging studies by Joshua Greene and colleagues. Greene has suggested that these empirical findings undermine deontology and support utilitarianism. It has been pointed out, however, (...)
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  • How to Debunk Moral Beliefs.Victor Kumar & Joshua May - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 25-48.
    Arguments attempting to debunk moral beliefs, by showing they are unjustified, have tended to be global, targeting all moral beliefs or a large set of them. Popular debunking arguments point to various factors purportedly influencing moral beliefs, from evolutionary pressures, to automatic and emotionally-driven processes, to framing effects. We show that these sweeping arguments face a debunker’s dilemma: either the relevant factor is not a main basis for belief or it does not render the relevant beliefs unjustified. Empirical debunking arguments (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure and potential of evolutionary debunking arguments.
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  • Het 'Universele Zuur' van de Evolutionaire Psychologie?Maarten Boudry, Helen De Cruz, Stefaan Blancke & Johan De Smedt - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (2):287-305.
    In a previous issue of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, Filip Buekens argues that evolutionary psychology (EP), or some interpretations thereof, have a corrosive impact on our ‘manifest self-image’. Buekens wants to defend and protect the global adequacy of this manifest self-image in the face of what he calls evolutionary revisionism. Although we largely agree with Buekens’ central argument, we criticize his analysis on several accounts, making some constructive proposals to strengthen his case. First, Buekens’ argument fails to target EP, because his (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  • Numerical Cognition and Mathematical Realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose that they prima (...)
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  • Mereological Nihilism and Personal Ontology.Andrew Brenner - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268).
    Mereological nihilists hold that composition never occurs, so that nothing is ever a proper part of anything else. Substance dualists generally hold that we are each identical with an immaterial soul. In this paper, I argue that every popular objection to substance dualism has a parallel objection to composition. This thesis has some interesting implications. First, many of those who reject composition, but accept substance dualism, or who reject substance dualism and accept composition, have some explaining to do. Secondly, one (...)
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  • Moral Knowledge Without Justification? A Critical Discussion of Intuitionist Moral Epistemology.Philipp Schwind - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Miami
    In this dissertation I discuss the epistemology of ethical intuitionism, in particular the claim that mature moral agents possess self-evident moral knowledge. Traditional intuitionists such as W.D. Ross have claimed that by reflection, we can acquire knowledge of our basic moral duties such as the duty of veracity or benevolence. Recent defenders of intuitionism such as Robert Audi have further developed this theory and argued that adequate understanding can be sufficient for moral knowledge. I criticize this view and argue that (...)
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  • Darwinism in Metaethics: What If the Universal Acid Cannot Be Contained?Eleonora Severini & Fabio Sterpetti - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):1-25.
    The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point is that an epistemic disanalogy (...)
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  • Two Accounts of Moral Objectivity: From Attitude-Independence to Standpoint-Invariance.Jeroen Hopster - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):763-780.
    How should we understand the notion of moral objectivity? Metaethical positions that vindicate morality’s objective appearance are often associated with moral realism. On a realist construal, moral objectivity is understood in terms of mind-, stance-, or attitude-independence. But realism is not the only game in town for moral objectivists. On an antirealist construal, morality’s objective features are understood in virtue of our attitudes. In this paper I aim to develop this antirealist construal of moral objectivity in further detail, and to (...)
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  • The Evolution of Retribution: Intuitions Undermined.Isaac Wiegman - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (2):490-510.
    Recent empirical work suggests that emotions are responsible for anti-consequentialist intuitions. For instance, anger places value on actions of revenge and retribution, value not derived from the consequences of these actions. As a result, it contributes to the development of retributive intuitions. I argue that if anger evolved to produce these retributive intuitions because of their biological consequences, then these intuitions are not a good indicator that punishment has value apart from its consequences. This severs the evidential connection between retributive (...)
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  • No Coincidence?Matthew Bedke - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:102-125.
    This paper critically examines coincidence arguments and evolutionary debunking arguments against non-naturalist realism in metaethics. It advances a version of these arguments that goes roughly like this: Given a non-naturalist, realist metaethic, it would be cosmically coincidental if our first order normative beliefs were true. This coincidence undermines any prima facie justification enjoyed by those beliefs.
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  • Charitable Giving (Peter Singer).Pablo Stafforini - 2018 - Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science.
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  • Response-Dependent Responsibility; or, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Blame.David Shoemaker - 2017 - Philosophical Review 126 (4):481-527.
    This essay attempts to provide and defend what may be the first actual argument in support of P. F. Strawson's merely stated vision of a response-dependent theory of moral responsibility. It does so by way of an extended analogy with the funny. In part 1, it makes the easier and less controversial case for response-dependence about the funny. In part 2, it shows the tight analogy between anger and amusement in developing the harder and more controversial case for response-dependence about (...)
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  • Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Really Self-Defeating?Fabio Sterpetti - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):877-889.
    Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. Recently, Helen De Cruz and her co-authors supported the view that EDAs are self-defeating: if EDAs claim that human arguments are not justified, because the evolutionary origin of the beliefs which figure in such arguments undermines those beliefs, and EDAs themselves are human arguments, then EDAs are not justified, and we should not accept their conclusions about the fact that human (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Andreas Lech Mogensen - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Oxford
    I consider whether evolutionary explanations can debunk our moral beliefs. Most contemporary discussion in this area is centred on the question of whether debunking implications follow from our ability to explain elements of human morality in terms of natural selection, given that there has been no selection for true moral beliefs. By considering the most prominent arguments in the literature today, I offer reasons to think that debunking arguments of this kind fail. However, I argue that a successful evolutionary debunking (...)
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  • Are Dennett’s Evolutionary Debunking By-Producing Arguments Against the Rationality of Theism Valid?Jorge Sierra Merchán - 2017 - Eidos: Revista de Filosofía de la Universidad Del Norte 26:178-209.
    Resumen Recientemente la ciencia cognitiva de la religión ha permitido desarrollar argumentos evolutivos desacreditadores, los cuales buscan poner en entredicho no solo la racionalidad sino la verdad del teísmo. Dado que hay dos formas de concebir la racionalidad y la justificación epistémicas, a saber, la internalista y la externalista, cabe preguntarse ¿de qué modo tales argumentos afectan al teísmo? El objetivo de este artículo es responder a esta cuestión mediante una reconstrucción y evaluación de tres argumentos evolutivos desacreditadores subproductistas contra (...)
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  • The Objectivity of Ethics and the Unity of Practical Reason.Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek & Peter Singer - 2012 - Ethics 123 (1):9-31.
    Evolutionary accounts of the origins of human morality may lead us to doubt the truth of our moral judgments. Sidgwick tried to vindicate ethics from this kind of external attack. However, he ended The Methods in despair over another problem—an apparent conflict between rational egoism and universal benevolence, which he called the “dualism of practical reason.” Drawing on Sidgwick, we show that one way of defending objectivity in ethics against Sharon Street’s recent evolutionary critique also puts us in a position (...)
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  • The Common Consent Argument for the Existence of Nature Spirits.Tiddy Smith - forthcoming - Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-15.
    The traditional common consent argument for the existence of God has largely been abandoned—and rightly so. In this paper, I attempt to salvage the strongest version of the argument. Surprisingly, the strongest version of the argument supports the proposition, not that a god exists, but that animism is probably true and that such things as mountain, river, and forest spirits probably exist. I consider some plausible debunking arguments, ultimately finding that it is trickier to debunk the animist’s claims than it (...)
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  • Recent Work on Reflective Equilibrium and Method in Ethics.Folke Tersman - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (6):e12493.
    The idea of reflective equilibrium remains the most popular approach to questions about method in ethics, despite the masses of criticism it has been faced with over the years. Is this due to the availability of compelling responses to the criticisms or rather to factors that are independent of its reasonableness? The aim of this paper is to provide support for the first answer. I particularly focus on the recent discussion. Some recent objections are related to general arguments against the (...)
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  • Folk Mereology is Teleological.David Rose & Jonathan Schaffer - 2017 - Noûs 51 (2):238-270.
    When do the folk think that mereological composition occurs? Many metaphysicians have wanted a view of composition that fits with folk intuitions, and yet there has been little agreement about what the folk intuit. We aim to put the tools of experimental philosophy to constructive use. Our studies suggest that folk mereology is teleological: people tend to intuit that composition occurs when the result serves a purpose. We thus conclude that metaphysicians should dismiss folk intuitions, as tied into a benighted (...)
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  • La réponse naturelle : une solution inadéquate au dilemme darwinien.Félix Aubé Beaudoin - 2015 - Philosophiques 42 (1):131-151.
    Félix Aubé Beaudoin | : Le dilemme darwinien, formulé par Sharon Street, somme les réalistes moraux d’expliquer pourquoi de nombreux jugements qui sont des candidats au statut de vérités morales indépendantes sont aussi ceux qui ont une grande valeur sélective. Les réalistes peuvent soit nier, soit affirmer l’existence d’un lien entre pressions évolutionnistes et vérités morales. Selon Street, la première option mène au scepticisme tandis que la seconde est indéfendable sur le plan scientifique. Peter Singer et Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek optent (...)
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  • The Fake, the Flimsy, and the Fallacious: Demarcating Arguments in Real Life.Maarten Boudry, Fabio Paglieri & Massimo Pigliucci - 2015 - Argumentation 29 (4):10.1007/s10503-015-9359-1.
    Philosophers of science have given up on the quest for a silver bullet to put an end to all pseudoscience, as such a neat formal criterion to separate good science from its contenders has proven elusive. In the literature on critical thinking and in some philosophical quarters, however, this search for silver bullets lives on in the taxonomies of fallacies. The attractive idea is to have a handy list of abstract definitions or argumentation schemes, on the basis of which one (...)
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  • Which Causes of Moral Beliefs Matter?Elizabeth O’Neill - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1070-1080.
    I argue that information about the distal causes of moral beliefs, such as evolution, is only relevant for assessing the epistemic status of moral beliefs in cases where we cannot determine whether the proximal processes producing these beliefs are reliable just by examining the properties of these proximal processes. Any investigation into the epistemic status of moral beliefs given their causes should start with a look at proximal causes—not at evolution. I discuss two proximal psychological influences on moral beliefs—disgust and (...)
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  • Evolution and Impartiality.Guy Kahane - 2014 - Ethics 124 (2):327-341.
    Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer argue that evolutionary considerations can resolve Sidgwick’s dualism of practical reason because such considerations debunk moral views that give weight to self-interested or partial considerations but cannot threaten the principle of universal benevolence. I argue that even if we grant these claims, this appeal to evolution is ultimately self-defeating. De Lazari-Radek and Singer face a dilemma. Either their evolutionary argument against partial morality succeeds, but then we need to also give up our conviction that (...)
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  • Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification.Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
    What are the consequences of evolutionary theory for the epistemic standing of our beliefs? Evolutionary considerations can be used to either justify or debunk a variety of beliefs. This paper argues that evolutionary approaches to human cognition must at least allow for approximately reliable cognitive capacities. Approaches that portray human cognition as so deeply biased and deficient that no knowledge is possible are internally incoherent and self-defeating. As evolutionary theory offers the current best hope for a naturalistic epistemology, evolutionary approaches (...)
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  • Famine, Affluence and Intuitions: Evolutionary Debunking Proves Too Much.Geoffrey S. Holtzman - 2018 - Disputatio 10 (48):57-70.
    Moral theorists like Singer and Greene argue that we should discount intuitions about ‘up-close-and-personal’ moral dilemmas because they are more likely than intuitions about ‘impersonal’ dilemmas to be artifacts of evolution. But by that reasoning, it seems we should ignore the evolved, ‘up-close-and-personal’ intuition to save a drowning child in light of the too-new-to-be-evolved, ‘impersonal’ intuition that we need not donate to international famine relief. This conclusion seems mistaken and horrifying, yet it cannot be the case both that ‘up-close-and-personal’ intuitions (...)
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  • Rawls’ Methodological Blueprint.Jonathan Floyd - 2017 - European Journal of Political Theory 16 (3):367-381.
    Rawls’ primary legacy is not that he standardised a particular view of justice, but rather that he standardised a particular method of arguing about it: justification via reflective equilibrium. Yet this method, despite such standardisation, is often misunderstood in at least four ways. First, we miss its continuity across his various works. Second, we miss the way in which it unifies other justificatory ideas, such as the ‘original position’ and an ‘overlapping consensus’. Third, we miss its fundamentally empirical character, given (...)
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  • A Case for Ethical Veganism.Tristram McPherson - 2014 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 11 (6):677-703.
    This paper argues for ethical veganism: the thesis that it is typically wrong to consume animal products. The paper first sets out an intuitive case for this thesis that begins with the intuitive claim that it is wrong to set fire to a cat. I then raise a methodological challenge: this is an intuitive argument for a revisionary conclusion. Even if we grant that we cannot both believe that it is permissible to drink milk, and that it is wrong to (...)
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  • “Theism, Naturalism, and Meta‐Ethics”.Matthew C. Jordan - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (4):373-380.
    The relationship between God and morality has been a topic of philosophical discussion since Socrates engaged Euthyphro in the agora. In recent years, it has received a lot of attention, as theistic philosophers have attempted to show that divine command theory and other theistic meta‐ethical accounts are defensible. Whether metaphysical naturalism is compatible with moral realism is a related topic. This essay surveys the main issues in these debates.
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