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  1. An Integrative Design? How Liberalised Modal Empiricism Fails the Integration Challenge.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Synthese 198 (6):5655-5673.
    The idea that justified modal belief can be accounted for in terms of empirically justified, non-modal belief is enjoying increasing popularity in the epistemology of modality. One alleged reason to prefer modal empiricism over more traditional, rationalist modal epistemologies is that empiricism avoids the problem with the integration challenge that arise for rationalism, assuming that we want to be realists about modal metaphysics. In this paper, I argue that given two very reasonable constraints on what it means to meet the (...)
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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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  • Hope for the Evolutionary Debunker: How Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and Arguments from Moral Disagreement Can Join Forces.Folke Tersman & Olle Risberg - 2022 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-17.
    Facts about moral disagreement and human evolution have both been said to exclude the possibility of moral knowledge, but the question of how these challenges interact has largely gone unaddressed. The paper aims to present and defend a novel version of the evolutionary “debunking” argument for moral skepticism that appeals to both types of considerations. This argument has several advantages compared to more familiar versions. The standard debunking strategy is to argue that evolutionary accounts of moral beliefs generate skeptical implications (...)
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  • Undermining versus rebutting: options for responding to evolutionary debunking arguments.Emily Slome - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    In this paper, I argue that the success of evolutionary debunking arguments hinges on what theory of epistemic justification one endorses. More specifically, I argue that what it takes to satisfactorily respond to evolutionary debunking arguments depends on what view of epistemic justification one is operating under and that a thorough analysis of any line of response to evolutionary debunking arguments must take into account whether there is a specific view of justification motivating the response or looming in the background. (...)
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  • An Integrative Design? How Liberalised Modal Empiricism Fails the Integration Challenge.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2021 - Synthese 198 (6):5655-5673.
    The idea that justified modal belief can be accounted for in terms of empirically justified, non-modal belief is enjoying increasing popularity in the epistemology of modality. One alleged reason to prefer modal empiricism over more traditional, rationalist modal epistemologies is that empiricism avoids the problem with the integration challenge that arise for rationalism, assuming that we want to be realists about modal metaphysics. In this paper, I argue that given two very reasonable constraints on what it means to meet the (...)
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  • Conceptual Truths, Evolution, and Reliability About Authoritative Normativity.David Plunkett - 2020 - Jurisprudence 11 (2):169-212.
    An important challenge for non-naturalistic moral realism is that it seems hard to reconcile it with the (purported) fact of our reliability in forming correct moral beliefs. Some philosophers (including Cuneo and Shafer-Landau) have argued that we can appeal to conceptual truths about our moral concepts in order to respond to this challenge. Call this “the conceptual strategy”. The conceptual strategy faces a problem: it isn’t clear that the relevant moral concepts are “extension-revealing” in the way that the conceptual strategy (...)
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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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  • The Explanationist and the Modalist.Dario Mortini - forthcoming - Episteme:1-16.
    Recent epistemology has witnessed a substantial opposition between two competing approaches to capturing the notion of non-accidentality in the analysis of knowledge: the explanationist and the modalist. According to the latest advocates of the former, S knows that p if and only if S believes that p because p is true. According to champions of the latter, S knows that p if and only if S's belief that p is true in a relevant set of possible worlds. Because Bogardus and (...)
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  • Conservatism, Counterexamples and Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman - 2020 - Analysis 80 (3):558-574.
    A symposium on my *Objects: Nothing Out of the Ordinary* (2015). In response to Wallace, I attempt to clarify the dialectical and epistemic role that my arguments from counterexamples were meant to play, I provide a limited defense of the comparison to the Gettier examples, and I embrace the comparison to Moorean anti-skeptical arguments. In response to deRosset, I provide a clearer formulation of conservatism, explain how a conservative should think about the interaction between intuition and science, and discuss what (...)
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  • An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Sometimes, learning about the origins of a belief can make it irrational to continue to hold that belief—a phenomenon we call ‘genealogical defeat’. According to explanationist accounts, genealogical defeat occurs when one learns that there is no appropriate explanatory connection between one’s belief and the truth. Flatfooted versions of explanationism have been widely and rightly rejected on the grounds that they would disallow beliefs about the future and other inductively-formed beliefs. After motivating the need for some explanationist account, we raise (...)
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  • The Epistemology of Evolutionary Debunking.Justis Koon - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12155-12176.
    Fifteen years ago, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce advanced evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism, which purported to show that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes moral realism untenable. These arguments have since given rise to a flurry of objections; the epistemic principles Street and Joyce relied upon, in particular, have come in for a number of serious challenges. My goal in this paper is to develop a new account of evolutionary debunking which avoids the pitfalls Street and (...)
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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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  • An Occasionalist Response to Korman and Locke.David Killoren - 2021 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 19 (3).
    Dan Korman and Dustin Locke argue that non-naturalists are rationally committed to withhold moral belief. A main principle in their argument, which they call EC*, can be read in either of two ways, which I call EC*-narrow and EC*-wide. I show that EC*-narrow is implausible. Then I show that, if Korman and Locke rely on EC*-wide to critique non-naturalism, then the critique fails. I explain how the availability of a view that I like to call moral occasionalism can be used (...)
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  • Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane & Dan Baras - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 102 (1):162-183.
    Modal Security is an increasingly discussed proposed necessary condition on undermining defeat. Modal Security says, roughly, that if evidence undermines (rather than rebuts) one’s belief, then one gets reason to doubt the belief's safety or sensitivity. The primary interest of the principle is that it seems to entail that influential epistemological arguments, including Evolutionary Debunking Arguments against moral realism and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge for mathematical realism, are unsound. The purpose of this paper is to critically examine Modal Security in detail. (...)
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  • Immanence in Abundance.Chad Carmichael - forthcoming - Erkenntnis.
    In this paper, I develop a theory on which each of a thing’s abundant properties is immanent in that thing. On the version of the theory I will propose, universals are abundant, each instantiated universal is immanent, and each uninstantiated universal is such that it could have been instantiated, in which case it would have been immanent. After setting out the theory, I will defend it from David Lewis’s argument that such a combination of immanence and abundance is absurd. I (...)
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  • Knowledge is Believing Something Because It's True.Tomas Bogardus & Will Perrin - 2022 - Episteme 19 (2):178-196.
    Modalists think that knowledge requires forming your belief in a “modally stable” way: using a method that wouldn't easily go wrong, or using a method that wouldn't have given you this belief had it been false. Recent Modalist projects from Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras defend a principle they call “Modal Security,” roughly: if evidence undermines your belief, then it must give you a reason to doubt the safety or sensitivity of your belief. Another recent Modalist project from Carlotta Pavese (...)
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  • What's the Coincidence in Debunking?Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Many moral debunking arguments are driven by the idea that the correlation between our moral beliefs and the moral truths is a big coincidence, given a robustly realist conception of morality. -/- One influential response is that the correlation is not a coincidence because there is a common explainer of our moral beliefs and the moral truths. For example, the reason that I believe that I should feed my child is because feeding my child helps them to survive, and natural (...)
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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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  • How Can Necessary Facts Call for Explanation.Dan Baras - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11607-11624.
    While there has been much discussion about what makes some mathematical proofs more explanatory than others, and what are mathematical coincidences, in this article I explore the distinct phenomenon of mathematical facts that call for explanation. The existence of mathematical facts that call for explanation stands in tension with virtually all existing accounts of “calling for explanation”, which imply that necessary facts cannot call for explanation. In this paper I explore what theoretical revisions are needed in order to accommodate this (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used by certain (...)
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  • Psychophysical Harmony: A New Argument for Theism.Brian Cutter & Dustin Crummett - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion.
    This paper develops a new argument from consciousness to theism: the argument from psychophysical harmony. Roughly, psychophysical harmony consists in the fact that phenomenal states are correlated with physical states and with one another in strikingly fortunate ways. For example, phenomenal states are correlated with behavior and functioning that is justified or rationalized by those very phenomenal states, and phenomenal states are correlated with verbal reports and judgments that are made true by those very phenomenal states. We argue that psychophysical (...)
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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 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.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate. I then explore the prospects for other sorts of vindications of our object (...)
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