Which Causes of Moral Beliefs Matter?

Philosophy of Science 82 (5):1070-1080 (2015)

Authors
Elizabeth O'Neill
Eindhoven University of Technology
Abstract
I argue that information about the distal causes of moral beliefs, such as evolution, is only relevant for assessing the epistemic status of moral beliefs in cases where we cannot determine whether the proximal processes producing these beliefs are reliable just by examining the properties of these proximal processes. Any investigation into the epistemic status of moral beliefs given their causes should start with a look at proximal causes—not at evolution. I discuss two proximal psychological influences on moral beliefs—disgust and sympathy—to demonstrate the feasibility of drawing epistemic conclusions from an examination of proximal causes alone
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DOI 10.1086/683441
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References found in this work BETA

A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Ethics and Intuitions.Peter Singer - 2005 - Journal of Ethics 9 (3-4):331-352.
The Myth of Morality.Richard Joyce - 2001 - Mind 113 (452):760-763.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2011 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.

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