Debunking Arguments from Insensitivity

International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2):91-113 (2017)
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Abstract

Heightened awareness of the origins of our moral judgments pushes many in the direction of moral skepticism, in the direction of thinking we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments on a realist understanding of the moral truths. A classic debunking argument fleshes out this worry: the best explanation of our moral judgments does not appeal to their truth, so we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments. But it is unclear how to get from the explanatory premise to the debunking conclusion. This paper shows how to get from here to there by way of epistemic insensitivity. First, we reconstruct Richard Joyce’s evolutionary debunking argument from insensitivity. Second, we raise epistemological difficulties for Joyce’s argument. Third, we develop and defend a new debunking argument from insensitivity.

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Matthew Braddock
University of Tennessee, Martin

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References found in this work

Moral realism: a defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Ethical Intuitionism.Michael Huemer - 2005 - New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

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