Evolution and Moral Disagreement

Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2) (2018)
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Abstract

Several philosophers have recently argued that evolutionary considerations undermine the justification of all objectivist moral beliefs by implying a hypothetical disagreement: had our evolutionary history been different, our moral beliefs would conflict with the moral beliefs of our counterfactual selves. This paper aims at showing that evolutionary considerations do not imply epistemically relevant moral disagreement. In nearby scenarios, evolutionary considerations imply tremendous moral agreement. In remote scenarios, evolutionary considerations do not entail relevant disagreement with our epistemic peers, neither on a narrow nor on a broad conception of peerhood. In conclusion, evolutionary considerations do not reveal epistemically troubling kinds of disagreement. Anti-objectivists need to look elsewhere to fuel their sceptical argument.

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Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology

Citations of this work

Debunking, Epistemic Achievement, and Undermining Defeat.Michael Klenk - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):43-60.
The Scope and Limits of Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Dissertation, Australian National University

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References found in this work

A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Reflection and Disagreement.Adam Elga - 2007 - Noûs 41 (3):478–502.
The Epistemic Significance of Disagreement.Thomas Kelly - 2005 - In Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Studies in Epistemology, Volume 1. Oxford/New York: Oxford University Press. pp. 167-196.
Epistemological Puzzles About Disagreement.Richard Feldman - 2006 - In Stephen Hetherington (ed.), Epistemology Futures. Oxford University Press. pp. 216-236.
Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.

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