What Makes Evolution a Defeater?

Erkenntnis 83 (6):1105-1126 (2018)

Abstract
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments purport to show that our moral beliefs do not amount to knowledge because these beliefs are “debunked” by the fact that our moral beliefs are, in some way, the product of evolutionary forces. But there is a substantial gap in this argument between its main evolutionary premise and the skeptical conclusion. What is it, exactly, about the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs that would create problems for realist views in metaethics? I argue that evolutionary debunking arguments are best understood as offering up defeaters for our moral beliefs. Moreover, the defeater in question is a paradigmatic instance of undercutting defeat. If anything is an undercutting defeater, then learning about the evolutionary origins of our moral beliefs is a defeater for those beliefs.
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DOI 10.1007/s10670-017-9931-1
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References found in this work BETA

Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.James Pryor - 2000 - Noûs 34 (4):517–549.
The Myth of Morality.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2004 - Mind 113 (452):760-763.
Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 74 (2):421-423.

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Citations of this work BETA

Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
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.
The Self-Effacement Gambit.Jack Woods - 2019 - Res Philosophica 96 (2):113-139.

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