In Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York, NY: Routledge (forthcoming)

Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology
Most epistemologists maintain that we are rationally required to believe what our evidence supports. Generally speaking, any factor that makes it more probable that a given state of affairs obtains (or does not obtain) is evidence (for that state of affairs). In line with this view, many metaethicists believe that we are rationally required to believe what’s morally right and wrong based on what our moral evidence (e.g. our moral intuitions, along with descriptive information about the world) supports. However, sometimes we get information about our evidence, such as a theory that explains that all moral intuitions are ultimately caused by evolutionary forces. Such genealogical claims like this take form as a puzzle about how to rationally respond to higher-order evidence in moral epistemology. How should we change our moral views in response to genealogical claims about the evolutionary origin of our moral beliefs or about widespread moral disagreement? This introductory chapter first explains the issue about how to change our moral views based on an easily accessible example. Then it shows how recent debates about the puzzle of higher-order evidence bears on recent debates in moral epistemology, notably the debates about evolutionary debunking arguments in metaethics, the epistemic significance of moral peer disagreement, moral testimony, and collective moral knowledge before it introduces the chapters of this book.
Keywords higher-order evidence  moral epistemology  debunking arguments  genealogical debunking  evidence  moral testimony  moral disagreement
Categories (categorize this paper)
Buy the book Find it on
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
Moral Disagreement and Moral Skepticism.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Philosophical Perspectives 28 (1):302-333.
Evolution and the Possibility of Moral Knowledge.Silvan Wittwer - 2018 - Dissertation, University of Edinburgh
Moral Disagreement and Higher-Order Evidence.Klemens Kappel & Frederik J. Andersen - 2019 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 22 (5):1103-1120.
How to Determine whether Evolution Debunks Moral Realism.Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Jahrbuch für Wissenschaft Und Ethik 23 (1):35-60.


Added to PP index

Total views
223 ( #50,542 of 2,505,999 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
27 ( #33,293 of 2,505,999 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes