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  1. Against Minimalist Responses to Moral Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2020 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 15:309-332.
    Moral debunking arguments are meant to show that, by realist lights, moral beliefs are not explained by moral facts, which in turn is meant to show that they lack some significant counterfactual connection to the moral facts (e.g., safety, sensitivity, reliability). The dominant, “minimalist” response to the arguments—sometimes defended under the heading of “third-factors” or “pre-established harmonies”—involves affirming that moral beliefs enjoy the relevant counterfactual connection while granting that these beliefs are not explained by the moral facts. We show that (...)
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  • 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 (...)
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  • Is epistemic circularity a fallacy?William J. Talbott - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2277-2298.
    The author uses a series of potential counterexamples to argue against attempts by Bergmann and Plantinga to articulate a distinction between malignant and benign epistemic circularity and, more radically, to argue that epistemic circularity per se is no fallacy, and the concept of epistemic circularity plays no role in the explanation of why some instances of epistemic circularity are irrational. The author contrasts an inferential framework, in which circularity is a problem, with an equilibrium framework, in which the concept of (...)
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  • The Challenge of Evolution to Religion.Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz - 2020 - Cambridge University Press.
    This Element focuses on three challenges of evolution to religion: teleology, human origins, and the evolution of religion itself. First, religious worldviews tend to presuppose a teleological understanding of the origins of living things, but scientists mostly understand evolution as non-teleological. Second, religious and scientific accounts of human origins do not align in a straightforward sense. Third, evolutionary explanations of religion, including religious beliefs and practices, may cast doubt on their justification. We show how these tensions arise and offer potential (...)
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  • Circular and question-begging responses to religious disagreement and debunking arguments.Andrew Moon - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):785-809.
    Disagreement and debunking arguments threaten religious belief. In this paper, I draw attention to two types of propositions and show how they reveal new ways to respond to debunking arguments and disagreement. The first type of proposition is the epistemically self-promoting proposition, which, when justifiedly believed, gives one a reason to think that one reliably believes it. Such a proposition plays a key role in my argument that some religious believers can permissibly wield an epistemically circular argument in response to (...)
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  • Can Moral Realists Deflect Defeat Due to Evolutionary Explanations of Morality?Michael Klenk - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):227-248.
    I address Andrew Moon's recent discussion (2016, this journal) of the question whether third-factor accounts are valid responses to debunking arguments against moral realism. Moon argues that third-factor responses are valid under certain conditions but leaves open whether moral realists can use his interpretation of the third-factor response to defuse the evolutionary debunking challenge. I rebut Moon's claim and answer his question. Moon's third-factor reply is valid only if we accept externalism about epistemic defeaters. However, even if we do, I (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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  • Independence and New Ways to Remain Steadfast in the Face of Disagreement.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Episteme 15 (1):65-79.
    An important principle in the epistemology of disagreement is Independence, which states, “In evaluating the epistemic credentials of another’s expressed belief about P, in order to determine how (or whether) to modify my own belief about P, I should do so in a way that doesn’t rely on the reasoning behind my initial belief about P” (Christensen 2011, 1-2). I present a series of new counterexamples to both Independence and also a revised, more widely applicable, version of it. I then (...)
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  • Conceptual Truths, Evolution, and Reliability About Authoritative Normativity.David Plunkett - 2020 - Jurisprudence 11 (2):169-212.
    An important challenge for non-naturalistic moral realism is that it seems hard to reconcile it with the fact of our reliability in forming correct moral beliefs. Some philosophers (inc...
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  • Perspectival Skeptical Theism.Jonathan Curtis Rutledge - 2019 - Faith and Philosophy 36 (2):244-264.
    Skeptical theists have paid insufficient attention to non-evidential components of epistemic rationality. I address this lacuna by constructing an alternative perspectivalist understanding of epistemic rationality and defeat that, when applied to skeptical theism, yields a more demanding standard for reasonably affirming the crucial premise of the evidential argument from suffering. The resulting perspectival skeptical theism entails that someone can be justified in believing that gratuitous suffering exists only if they are not subject to closure-of-inquiry defeat; that is, a type of (...)
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  • Circularity in Setiya’s Knowing Right From Wrong.Joshua D. McBee - 2018 - Social Theory and Practice 44 (3):349-375.
    Recently, Kieran Setiya suggested that we might respond to evolutionary debunking arguments by arguing that, even if we cannot explain our reliability in ethics, we might justify believing ourselves reliable using a track record argument. Not surprisingly, several critics have claimed that this response is circular. I consider two senses in which they might be right, concluding that, though Setiya’s argument does not beg the question, it is epistemically circular. Perhaps surprisingly, its epistemic circularity need not prevent Setiya’s argument from (...)
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  • Ethics and Evolutionary Theory.Erik Joseph Wielenberg - 2016 - Analysis 76 (4):502-515.
  • Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    Debunking arguments—also known as etiological arguments, genealogical arguments, access problems, isolation objec- tions, and reliability challenges—arise in philosophical debates about a diverse range of topics, including causation, chance, color, consciousness, epistemic reasons, free will, grounding, laws of nature, logic, mathematics, modality, morality, natural kinds, ordinary objects, religion, and time. What unifies the arguments is the transition from a premise about what does or doesn't explain why we have certain mental states to a negative assessment of their epistemic status. I examine (...)
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