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  1. By Which We May Be Judged: Moral Epistemology, Mind-Independent Truth Conditions And Sources Of Normativity.Maarten Van Doorn - 2022 - Dissertation, Central European University
    Many hope that our values, purged of messy human contingency, could aspire to correspond with mind-independent, rationally obligatory, and eternal ethical facts. But if the arguments of this thesis are on the right track, we should reject the search for non-natural and mind-independent moral truths.
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  • A defence of the evolutionary debunking argument.Man Him Ip - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis, I will explore the epistemological evolutionary debunking arguments in meta-ethics. I will defend these arguments by accomplishing two tasks: I will offer the best way to understand the EDA and I will also respond to two strongest objections to the EDA. Firstly, in Part I of this thesis, I will offer my account of how the EDA should be best formulated. I will start from how evolution has significantly influenced our moral beliefs. I will then explain why, (...)
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  • Debunking, Epistemic Achievement, and Undermining Defeat.Michael Klenk - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):43-60.
    Several anti-debunkers have argued that evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs fail to meet a necessary condition on undermining defeat called modal security. They conclude that evolution, therefore, does not debunk our moral beliefs. This article shows that modal security is false if knowledge is virtuous achievement. New information can undermine a given belief without providing reason to doubt that that belief is sensitive or safe. This leads to a novel conception of undermining defeat, and it shows that successful debunking (...)
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  • Realism, reliability, and epistemic possibility: on modally interpreting the Benacerraf–Field challenge.Brett Topey - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):4415-4436.
    A Benacerraf–Field challenge is an argument intended to show that common realist theories of a given domain are untenable: such theories make it impossible to explain how we’ve arrived at the truth in that domain, and insofar as a theory makes our reliability in a domain inexplicable, we must either reject that theory or give up the relevant beliefs. But there’s no consensus about what would count here as a satisfactory explanation of our reliability. It’s sometimes suggested that giving such (...)
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  • Why Metaethics Needs Empirical Moral Psychology.Jeroen Hopster & Michael Klenk - 2020 - Critica 52 (155):27-54.
    What is the significance of empirical moral psychology for metaethics? In this article we take up Michael Ruse’s evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and reassess it in the context of the empirical state of the art. Ruse’s argument depends on the phenomenological presumption that people generally experience morality as objective. We demonstrate how recent experimental findings challenge this widely-shared armchair presumption and conclude that Ruse’s argument fails. We situate this finding in the recent debate about Carnapian explication and argue (...)
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  • No need to get up from the armchair.Dan Baras - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (3):575-590.
    Several authors believe that metaethicists ought to leave their comfortable armchairs and engage with serious empirical research. This paper provides partial support for the opposing view, that metaethics is rightly conducted from the armchair. It does so by focusing on debunking arguments against robust moral realism. Specifically, the article discusses arguments based on the possibility that if robust realism is correct, then our beliefs are most likely insensitive to the relevant truths. These arguments seem at first glance to be dependent (...)
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  • What can debunking do for us (sceptics and nihilists)?Jonas Olson - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):290-299.
    Debunking arguments in metaethics are often presented as particularly challenging for non‐naturalistic versions of moral realism. The first aim of this paper is to explore and defend a response on behalf of non‐naturalism. The second aim of the paper is to argue that although non‐naturalism’s response is satisfactory, this does not mean that debunking arguments are metaethically uninteresting. They have a limited and indirect role to play in the exchange between non‐naturalists and moral error theorists. In the end, debunking arguments (...)
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  • Third factor explanations and disagreement in metaethics.Michael Klenk - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):427-446.
    Several moral objectivists try to explain the reliability of moral beliefs by appealing to a third factor, a substantive moral claim that explains, first, why we have the moral beliefs that we have and, second, why these beliefs are true. Folke Tersman has recently suggested that moral disagreement constrains the epistemic legitimacy of third-factor explanations. Apart from constraining third-factor explanations, Tersman’s challenge could support the view that the epistemic significance of debunking explanations depends on the epistemic significance of disagreement. This (...)
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  • Can Moral Realists Deflect Defeat Due to Evolutionary Explanations of Morality?Michael Klenk - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):227-248.
    I address Andrew Moon's recent discussion (2016, this journal) of the question whether third-factor accounts are valid responses to debunking arguments against moral realism. Moon argues that third-factor responses are valid under certain conditions but leaves open whether moral realists can use his interpretation of the third-factor response to defuse the evolutionary debunking challenge. I rebut Moon's claim and answer his question. Moon's third-factor reply is valid only if we accept externalism about epistemic defeaters. However, even if we do, I (...)
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  • Practical Intelligibility and Moral Skepticism: Should Realists Worry About Grass-Counters and Hand-Claspers?Micah Lott - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 102 (1):103-125.
    The focus of this paper is the following claim: as a purely conceptual matter, the moral truths could be pretty much anything, and we should assume this in assessing our reliability at grasping moral truths. This claim, which I call No Content, plays a key role in an important skeptical argument against realist moral knowledge – the Normative Lottery Argument. In this paper, I argue that moral realists can, and should, reject No Content. My argument centers on the idea of (...)
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  • Evolutionary arguments against moral realism: Why the empirical details matter (and which ones do).Jeroen Hopster - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41.
    The aim of this article is to identify the strongest evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and to assess on which empirical assumptions it relies. In the recent metaethical literature, several authors have de-emphasized the evolutionary component of EDAs against moral realism: presumably, the success or failure of these arguments is largely orthogonal to empirical issues. I argue that this claim is mistaken. First, I point out that Sharon Street’s and Michael Ruse’s EDAs both involve substantive claims about the evolution (...)
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