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Matthew Braddock [19]Matthew C. Braddock [3]
  1. Debunking Arguments and the Cognitive Science of Religion.Matthew Braddock - 2016 - Theology and Science 14 (3):268-287.
    Do the cognitive origins of our theistic beliefs debunk them or explain them away? This paper develops an empirically-motivated debunking argument and defends it against objections. First, we introduce the empirical and epistemological background. Second, we develop and defend the main argument, the debunking argument from false god beliefs. Third, we characterize and evaluate the most prominent religious debunking argument to date, the debunking argument from insensitivity. It is found that insensitivity-based arguments are problematic, which makes them less promising than (...)
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  2. Should We Treat Vegetative and Minimally Conscious Patients as Persons?Matthew Braddock - 2017 - Neuroethics 10 (2):267-280.
    How should we treat patients diagnosed as being in a persistent vegetative state (PVS) or minimally conscious state (MCS)? More specifically, should we treat them as having the full moral status of persons? Yes, or so we argue. First, we introduce the medical conditions of PVS, MCS, and the related conditions of Locked-in Syndrome and covert awareness. Second, we characterize the main argument for thinking diagnosed PVS patients are not persons. Third, we contend that this argument is defeated by mounting (...)
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  3. Debunking Arguments from Insensitivity.Matthew Braddock - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2):91-113.
    Heightened awareness of the origins of our moral judgments pushes many in the direction of moral skepticism, in the direction of thinking we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments on a realist understanding of the moral truths. A classic debunking argument fleshes out this worry: the best explanation of our moral judgments does not appeal to their truth, so we are unjustified in holding our moral judgments. But it is unclear how to get from the explanatory premise to the (...)
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  4. Evolutionary Debunking: Can Moral Realists Explain the Reliability of Our Moral Judgments?Matthew Braddock - 2016 - Philosophical Psychology 29 (6):844-857.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments, notably Sharon Street’s Darwinian Dilemma (2006), allege that moral realists need to explain the reliability of our moral judgments, given their evolutionary sources. David Copp (2008) and David Enoch (2010) take up the challenge. I argue on empirical grounds that realists have not met the challenge and moreover cannot do so. The outcome is that there are empirically-motivated reasons for thinking moral realists cannot explain moral reliability, given our current empirical understanding.
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  5.  82
    The Contingency of the Cultural Evolution of Morality, Debunking, and Theism vs. Naturalism.Matthew Braddock - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 179-201.
    Is the cultural evolution of morality fairly contingent? Could cultural evolution have easily led humans to moral norms and judgments that are mostly false by our present lights? If so, does it matter philosophically? Yes, or so we argue. We empirically motivate the contingency of cultural evolution and show that it makes two major philosophical contributions. First, it shows that moral objectivists cannot explain the reliability of our moral judgments and thus strengthens moral debunking arguments. Second, it shows that the (...)
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  6. Defusing the Demandingness Objection: Unreliable Intuitions.Matthew Braddock - 2013 - Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (2):169-191.
    Dogged resistance to demanding moral views frequently takes the form of The Demandingness Objection. Premise (1): Moral view V demands too much of us. Premise (2): If a moral view demands too much of us, then it is mistaken. Conclusion: Therefore, moral view V is mistaken. Objections of this form harass major theories in normative ethics as well as prominent moral views in applied ethics and political philosophy. The present paper does the following: (i) it clarifies and distinguishes between various (...)
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  7.  95
    Natural Nonbelief in God: Prehistoric Humans, Divine Hiddenness, and Debunking.Matthew Braddock - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 160-184.
    The empirical literature seems to indicate that prehistoric humans did not believe in God or anything like God. Why is that so, if God exists? The problem is difficult because their nonbelief was natural: their evolved mind and cultural environment restricted them to concepts of highly limited supernatural agents. Why would God design their mind and place them in their environments only to hide from them? The natural nonbelief of prehistoric humans is much more surprising given theism than naturalism. Thus, (...)
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  8. An Evidential Argument for Theism from the Cognitive Science of Religion.Matthew Braddock - 2018 - In Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 171-198.
    What are the epistemological implications of the cognitive science of religion (CSR)? The lion’s share of discussion fixates on whether CSR undermines (or debunks or explains away) theistic belief. But could the field offer positive support for theism? If so, how? That is our question. Our answer takes the form of an evidential argument for theism from standard models and research in the field. According to CSR, we are naturally disposed to believe in supernatural agents and these beliefs are constrained (...)
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  9. Do Not Risk Homicide: Abortion After 10 Weeks Gestation.Matthew Braddock - 2024 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 49 (4):414-432.
    When an abortion is performed, someone dies. Are we killing a human person? Widespread disagreement exists. However, it is not necessary to establish personhood in order to establish the wrongness of abortion: a substantial chance of personhood is enough. We defend The Do Not Risk Homicide Argument: abortions are wrong after 10 weeks gestation because they substantially and unjustifiably risk homicide, the unjust killing of a human person. Why 10 weeks? Because the cumulative evidence establishes a substantial chance (a more (...)
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  10. Resuscitating the Common Consent Argument for Theism.Matthew Braddock - 2023 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 93 (3):189-210.
    The common consent argument claims that widespread belief in God is good evidence for God’s existence. Though taken seriously throughout the history of philosophy, the argument died in the 1800s. Our philosophy of religion textbooks ignore it. In this paper, we hope to resuscitate it drawing upon the demographics of religious belief, the cognitive science of religion, and contemporary epistemology. We develop and defend two common consent arguments, which maintain that widespread belief in a High God is good evidence for (...)
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  11.  69
    Precautionary Personhood: We Should Treat Patients with Disorders of Consciousness as Persons.Matthew Braddock - 2021 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 12 (2-3):162-164.
    Should we allocate costly health care to patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness (DoC), such as patients diagnosed as being in a vegetative state or minimally conscious state? Peterson, Aas, and Wasserman (2021) argue that we should in their paper “What justifies the allocation of health care resources to patients with disorders of consciousness?” Their key insight is that the expected benefits to this patient population helps to justify such allocations. However, their insight is attached to a consequentialist framework aimed (...)
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  12. Constructivist experimental philosophy on well-being and virtue.Matthew Braddock - 2010 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 48 (3):295-323.
    What is the nature of human well-being? This paper joins the ancient debate by rejuvenating an ancient claim that is quite unfashionable among moral philosophers today, namely, the Aristotelian claim that moral virtue is (non-instrumentally) necessary for human well-being. Call it the Aristotelian Virtue Condition (AVC). This view can be revived for contemporary debate by a state-of-the-art approach that we might call constructivist experimental philosophy, which takes as its goal the achievement of a reasonable constructivist account of well-being and takes (...)
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  13. Do Humans Have a Reliable Conscience?Matthew Braddock - 2022 - Theological Puzzles.
    Do humans have a reliable conscience? Do we have generally reliable (though fallible) moral intuitions? Many believe so. However, this idea is hard to reconcile with two broad scientific findings. First, consider the extensive moral diversity documented in the scientific literature. The moral differences we find across cultures and history should make us wonder whether we humans really do have a reliable conscience. Second, consider the influential role of culture. The scientific literature tells us that cultural processes largely determine the (...)
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  14. A Critique of Simone de Beauvoir’s Existential Ethics.Matthew Braddock - 2007 - Philosophy Today 51 (3):303-311.
  15. Reconstruction in Moral Philosophy?Matthew Braddock & Alexander Rosenberg - 2012 - Analyse & Kritik 34 (1):63-80.
    We raise three issues for Philip Kitcher's "Ethical Project" (2011): First, we argue that the genealogy of morals starts well before the advent of altruism-failures and the need to remedy them, which Kitcher dates at about 50K years ago. Second, we challenge the likelihood of long term moral progress of the sort Kitcher requires to establish objectivity while circumventing Hume's challenge to avoid trying to derive normative conclusions from positive ones--'ought' from 'is'. Third, we sketch ways in which Kitcher's metaethical (...)
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  16.  70
    The Uncertainty of Consciousness and Why It Is important.Matthew Braddock - 2017 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 8 (3):155-157.
    How should we treat patients diagnosed with disorders of consciousness, such as patients diagnosed as minimally conscious or vegetative (yet who very well may be conscious)? Fischer and Truog (2017) argue that the consciousness and equal rights of these patients are relatively unimportant when deciding how we should treat them. That is, we should deemphasize their consciousness and equal rights and instead privilege the value judgments of the family/surrogate. We disagree. Drawing upon precautionary reasoning that we develop in Braddock (2017), (...)
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  17.  30
    The Contingency of the Cultural Evolution of Morality, Debunking, and Theism vs. Naturalism.Matthew Braddock - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Synthese Library. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 179-201.
    Is the cultural evolution of morality fairly contingent? Could cultural evolution have easily led humans to moral norms and judgments that are mostly false by our present lights? If so, does it matter philosophically? Yes, or so we argue. We empirically motivate the contingency of cultural evolution and show that it makes two major philosophical contributions. First, it shows that moral objectivists cannot explain the reliability of our moral judgments and thus strengthens moral debunking arguments. Second, it shows that the (...)
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  18.  2
    An Evidential Argument for Theism from the Cognitive Science of Religion.Matthew Braddock - 2018 - In Hans van Eyghen, Rik Peels & Gijsbert van den Brink (eds.), New Developments in the Cognitive Science of Religion - The Rationality of Religious Belief. Dordrecht: Springer. pp. 171-198.
    What are the epistemological implications of the cognitive science of religion? The lion’s share of discussion fixates on whether CSR undermines theistic belief. But could the field offer positive support for theismtheism? If so, how? That is our question. Our answer takes the form of an evidential argument for theism from standard models and research in the field. According to CSR, we are naturally disposed to believe in supernatural agents and these beliefs are constrained in certain ways. The three main (...)
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  19. Evolutionary psychology’s moral implications: John Cartwright, Evolution and Human Behavior: Darwinian Perspectives on Human Nature. 2nd ed. Palgrave Macmillan, New York, 2008. [REVIEW]Matthew C. Braddock - 2009 - Biology and Philosophy 24 (4):531-540.
    In this paper, I critically summarize John Cartwrtight’s Evolution and Human Behavior and evaluate what he says about certain moral implications of Darwinian views of human behavior. He takes a Darwinism-doesn’t-rock-the-boat approach and argues that Darwinism, even if it is allied with evolutionary psychology, does not give us reason to be worried about the alterability of our behavior, nor does it give us reason to think that we may have to change our ordinary practices and views concerning free-will and moral (...)
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  20.  22
    Vittorio Hösle and Christian Illies , Darwinism and Philosophy. Notre Dame, IN: Notre Dame Press , 400 pp., $35.00. [REVIEW]Matthew C. Braddock - 2007 - Philosophy of Science 74 (4):547-549.