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Crossing the Milvian bridge: When do evolutionary explanations of belief debunk belief?

In Phillip R. Sloan, Gerald McKenny & Kathleen Eggleson (eds.), Darwin in the Twenty-First Century: Nature, Humanity, and God. University of Notre Dame Press. pp. 201-231 (2015)

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  1. Evolutionary Debunking: The Milvian Bridge Destabilized.Christos Kyriacou - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2695-2713.
    Recent literature has paid attention to a demarcation problem for evolutionary debunking arguments. This is the problem of asking in virtue of what regulative metaepistemic norm evolutionary considerations either render a belief justified, or debunk it as unjustified. I examine the so-called ‘Milvian Bridge principle’ A new science of religion, Routledge, New York, 2012; Sloan, McKenny, Eggelson Darwin in the 21st century: nature, humanity, and God, University Press, Notre Dame, 2015)), which offers exactly such a called for regulative metaepistemic norm. (...)
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  • Evolution and Epistemic Justification.Michael Vlerick & Alex Broadbent - 2015 - Dialectica 69 (2):185-203.
    According to the evolutionary sceptic, the fact that our cognitive faculties evolved radically undermines their reliability. A number of evolutionary epistemologists have sought to refute this kind of scepticism. This paper accepts the success of these attempts, yet argues that refuting the evolutionary sceptic is not enough to put any particular domain of beliefs – notably scientific beliefs, which include belief in Darwinian evolution – on a firm footing. The paper thus sets out to contribute to this positive justificatory project, (...)
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  • 50 Words for Snow.John Wilkins - manuscript
    Scientists and philosophers routinely talk about phenomena, and the ways in which they relate to explanation, theory and practice in science. However, there are very few definitions of the term, which is often used synonymously with "data'', "model'' and in older literature, "hypothesis''. In this paper I will attempt to clarify how phenomena are recognized, categorized and the role they play in scientific epistemology. I conclude that phenomena are not necessarily theory-based commitments, but that they are what explanations are called (...)
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  • Does Cognitive Science of Religion Undermine Religious Belief?Rezkalla Paul - 2015 - Философия И Космология 14 (1):214-220.
    In this paper, I discuss what Cognitive Science of Religion is and what its implications are for theism and the veracity of religious belief. Findings in CSR, and its counterpart Evolutionary Psychology, aim to explain the origin of religious belief. Some critics of religion, however, brandish the findings of CSR in support of their agenda. Their arguments attempt to either argue against the truth of religion or the justification for religious belief. I will argue that neither of these two kinds (...)
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  • A Peircean Response to the Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Knowledge.Gary Slater - 2014 - Zygon 49 (3):593-611.
    The evolutionary debunking argument advanced by Sharon Street, Michael Ruse, and Richard Joyce employs the logic of Paul Griffiths and John Wilkins to contend that humans cannot have knowledge of moral truths, since the evolutionary process that has produced our basic moral intuitions lacks causal connections to those (putative) truths. Yet this argument is self-defeating, because its aim is the categorical, normative claim that we should suspend our moral beliefs in light of the discoveries about their non-truth-tracking origins, when it (...)
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  • Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Self-Debunking?Christos Kyriacou - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1351-1366.
    I argue that, at least on the assumption that if there are epistemic facts they are irreducible, the evolutionary debunking maneuver is prima facie self-debunking because it seems to debunk a certain class of facts, namely, epistemic facts that prima facie it needs to rely on in order to launch its debunking arguments. I then appeal to two recent reconstructions of the evolutionary debunking maneuver (Kahane (2011), Griffiths and Wilkins (2015)) and find them wanting. Along the way I set aside (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, Commonsense and Scepticism.Sandy C. Boucher - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11217-11239.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments seek to infer from the evolutionary origin of human beliefs about a particular domain to the conclusion that those beliefs are unjustified. In this paper I discuss EDAs with respect to our everyday, commonsense beliefs. Those who seriously entertain EDAs for commonsense argue that natural selection does not care about truth, it only cares about fitness, and thus it will equip us with beliefs that are useful rather than true. In recent work Griffiths and Wilkins argue that (...)
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  • The end of science? On human cognitive limitations and how to overcome them.Maarten Boudry, Michael Vlerick & Taner Edis - 2020 - Biology and Philosophy 35 (1):1-16.
    What, if any, are the limits of human understanding? Epistemic pessimists, sobered by our humble evolutionary origins, have argued that some parts of the universe will forever remain beyond our ken. But what exactly does it mean to say that humans are ‘cognitively closed’ to some parts of the world, or that some problems will forever remain ‘mysteries’? In this paper we develop a richer conceptual toolbox for thinking about different forms and varieties of cognitive limitation, which are often conflated (...)
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  • Theology in the Age of Cognitive Science.John Teehan - 2020 - International Journal of Philosophy and Theology 81 (4):423-445.
    The cognitive science of religion sets out a naturalistic account of religion, in which religious phenomena are grounded in evolved cognitive and moral intuitions. This has important implications f...
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  • The Real Problem with Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Louise Hanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):508-33.
    There is a substantial literature on evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) in metaethics. According to these arguments, evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs pose a significant problem for moral realism, specifically by committing the realist to an unattractive pessimism about the prospects of our having moral knowledge. In this paper, I argue that EDAs exploit an equivocation between two distinct readings of their central claim. One is plausibly true but has no epistemic relevance, and the other would have epistemic consequences for (...)
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