No Need to Get Up from the Armchair (If You're Interested in Debunking Arguments in Metaethics)


Authors
Dan Baras
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Abstract
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 on empirical research to learn what our moral beliefs are sensitive to. It is argued, however, that this is not so. The paper then examines two thought experiments that have been thought to demonstrate that debunking arguments might depend on empirical details and argues that the conclusion is not supported.
Keywords Armchair Philosophy  Evolutionary Debunking  Insensitivity  Moral Autonomy  Robust Moral Realism  Sensitivity  Tracking
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DOI 10.1007/s10677-020-10085-0
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Philosophical Explanations.Robert Nozick - 1981 - Harvard University Press.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.

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