In Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair (eds.), Explanation in Ethics and Mathematics: Debunking and Dispensability. Oxford University Press (2016)

Justin Clarke-Doane
Columbia University
In his précis of a recent book, Richard Joyce writes, “My contention…is that…any epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended to moral beliefs…will be neutralized by the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere…presupposes their truth.” Such reasoning – falling under the heading “Genealogical Debunking Arguments” – is now commonplace. But how might “the availability of an empirically confirmed moral genealogy that nowhere… presupposes” the truth of our moral beliefs “neutralize” whatever “epistemological benefit-of-the-doubt that might have been extended to” them? In this article, I argue that there appears to be no satisfactory answer to this question. The problem is quite general, applying to all arguments with the structure of Genealogical Debunking Arguments aimed at realism about a domain meeting two conditions. The Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism affords an important special case
Keywords debunking  math  safety  logic  sensitivity  benacerraf  moral realism  indispensability  harman  street
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References found in this work BETA

The Myth of Morality.Richard Joyce - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Two Dogmas of Empiricism.Willard V. O. Quine - 1951 - Philosophical Review 60 (1):20–43.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.

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Citations of this work BETA

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.
Objectivity and Reliability.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 47 (6):841-855.

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