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  1. Defusing the Regress Challenge to Debunking Arguments.Shang Long Yeo - forthcoming - Canadian Journal of Philosophy:1-16.
    A debunking argument contends that some target moral judgments were produced by unreliable processes and concludes that such judgments are unjustified. Debunking arguments face a regress challenge: to show that a process is unreliable at tracking the moral truth, we need to rely on other moral judgments. But we must show that these relied-upon judgments are also reliable, which requires yet a further set of judgments, whose reliability needs to be confirmed too, and so on. Some argue that the debunker (...)
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  • Irrelevant Influences.Katia Vavova - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research:134-152.
    We often hear such casual accusations: you just believe that because you are a liberal, a Christian, an American, a woman… When such charges are made they are meant to sting—not just emotionally, but epistemically. But should they? It can be disturbing to learn that one's beliefs reflect the influence of such irrelevant factors. The pervasiveness of such influence has led some to worry that we are not justified in many of our beliefs. That same pervasiveness has led others to (...)
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  • Against Minimalist Responses to Moral Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moral debunking arguments are meant to show that, by realist lights, moral beliefs are not explained by moral facts, which in turn is meant to show that they lack some significant counterfactual connection to the moral facts (e.g., safety, sensitivity, reliability). The dominant, “minimalist” response to the arguments—sometimes defended under the heading of “third-factors” or “pre-established harmonies”—involves affirming that moral beliefs enjoy the relevant counterfactual connection while granting that these beliefs are not explained by the moral facts. We show that (...)
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  • Review of The Social Psychology of Morality. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2016 - Metapsychology Online 20 (48):1-8.
    If you put chimpanzees from different communities together you can expect mayhem - they are not keen on treating each other nicely. There is closely related species of apes, however, whose members have countless encounters with unrelated specimen on a daily basis and yet almost all get through the day in one piece - that species is us, homo sapiens. But what makes us get along, most of the time? Morality as such is, perhaps surprisingly, not a mainstream research topic (...)
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  • Bad Bootstrapping: The Problem with Third-Factor Replies to the Darwinian Dilemma for Moral Realism.Michelle M. Dyke - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2115-2128.
    Street’s “Darwinian Dilemma” is a well-known epistemological objection to moral realism. In this paper, I argue that “third-factor” replies to this argument on behalf of the moral realist, as popularized by Enoch :413–438, 2010, Taking morality seriously: a defense of robust realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2011), Skarsaune :229–243, 2011) and Wielenberg :441–464, 2010, Robust ethics: the metaphysics and epistemology of godless normative realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014), cannot succeed. This is because they are instances of the illegitimate form (...)
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  • Moral Perception Without (Prior) Moral Knowledge.Preston J. Werner - 2018 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 15 (2):164-181.
    Proponents of impure moral perception claim that, while there are perceptual moral experiences, these experiences epistemically depend on a priori moral knowledge. Proponents of pure moral perception claim that moral experiences can justify independently of substantive a priori moral knowledge. Some philosophers, most notably David Faraci, have argued that the pure view is mistaken, since moral perception requires previous moral background knowledge, and such knowledge could not itself be perceptual. I defend pure moral perception against this objection. I consider two (...)
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  • Old Wine in New Bottles: Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge.Michael Klenk - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):781-795.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments purport to show that robust moral realism, the metaethical view that there are non-natural and mind-independent moral properties and facts that we can know about, is incompatible with evolutionary explanations of morality. One of the most prominent evolutionary debunking arguments is advanced by Sharon Street, who argues that if moral realism were true, then objective moral knowledge is unlikely because realist moral properties are evolutionary irrelevant and moral beliefs about those properties would not be selected for. However, (...)
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  • Ordinary Objects.Daniel Z. Korman - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    An encyclopedia entry which covers various revisionary conceptions of which macroscopic objects there are, and the puzzles and arguments that motivate these conceptions: sorites arguments, the argument from vagueness, the puzzles of material constitution, arguments against indeterminate identity, arguments from arbitrariness, debunking arguments, the overdetermination argument, and the problem of the many.
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  • Recent Work on Reflective Equilibrium and Method in Ethics.Folke Tersman - 2018 - Philosophy Compass 13 (6):e12493.
    The idea of reflective equilibrium remains the most popular approach to questions about method in ethics, despite the masses of criticism it has been faced with over the years. Is this due to the availability of compelling responses to the criticisms or rather to factors that are independent of its reasonableness? The aim of this paper is to provide support for the first answer. I particularly focus on the recent discussion. Some recent objections are related to general arguments against the (...)
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  • Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  • Ethical Objectivity: The Test of Time.Carla Bagnoli - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):325-338.
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  • Explanatory Challenges in Metaethics.Joshua Schechter - 2018 - In Tristram McPherson & David Plunkett (eds.), Routledge Handbook of Metaethics. Routledge. pp. 443-459.
    There are several important arguments in metaethics that rely on explanatory considerations. Gilbert Harman has presented a challenge to the existence of moral facts that depends on the claim that the best explanation of our moral beliefs does not involve moral facts. The Reliability Challenge against moral realism depends on the claim that moral realism is incompatible with there being a satisfying explanation of our reliability about moral truths. The purpose of this chapter is to examine these and related arguments. (...)
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  • Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2018 - Oxford University Press.
    The burgeoning science of ethics has produced a trend toward pessimism. Ordinary moral thought and action, we’re told, are profoundly influenced by arbitrary factors and ultimately driven by unreasoned feelings. This book counters the current orthodoxy on its own terms by carefully engaging with the empirical literature. The resulting view, optimistic rationalism, shows the pervasive role played by reason, and ultimately defuses sweeping debunking arguments in ethics. The science does suggest that moral knowledge and virtue don’t come easily. However, despite (...)
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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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  • How to Debunk Moral Beliefs.Victor Kumar & Joshua May - 2019 - In Jussi Suikkanen & Antti Kauppinen (eds.), Methodology and Moral Philosophy. Routledge. pp. 25-48.
    Arguments attempting to debunk moral beliefs, by showing they are unjustified, have tended to be global, targeting all moral beliefs or a large set of them. Popular debunking arguments point to various factors purportedly influencing moral beliefs, from evolutionary pressures, to automatic and emotionally-driven processes, to framing effects. We show that these sweeping arguments face a debunker’s dilemma: either the relevant factor is not a main basis for belief or it does not render the relevant beliefs unjustified. Empirical debunking arguments (...)
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  • Debunking and Fully Apt Belief.Joshua C. Thurow - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science.Arnon Levy & Yair Levy - 2018 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research (3):491-509.
    Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, EarlyView.
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  • When Do Replies to the Evolutionary Debunking Argument Against Moral Realism Beg the Question?Justin Morton - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (2):265-280.
    ABSTRACTSome proponents of the evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism believe that replies that assume substantive moral claims beg the question. In this paper, I give a new account of what's wrong with such replies. On this account, many realists beg the question when they rely on substantive moral claims in their replies to the argument, but naturalists do not. While this account generalizes to some other domains, it allows perceptual and inductive realism to remain undebunked.
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  • A New Evolutionary Debunking Argument Against Moral Realism.Justin Morton - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):233-253.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments claim that evolution has influenced our moral faculties in such a way that, if moral realism is true, then we have no positive moral knowledge. I present several popular objections to the standard version of this argument, then give a new EDA that has clear advantages in responding to these objections. Whereas the Standard EDA argues that evolution has selected for many moral beliefs with certain contents, this New EDA claims that evolution has selected for one belief: (...)
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  • The Debunking Challenge to Realism: How Evolution (Ultimately) Matters.Levy Arnon & Yair Levy - 2016 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy (1):1-8.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) have attracted extensive attention in meta-ethics, as they pose an important challenge to moral realism. Mogensen (2015) suggests that EDAs contain a fallacy, by confusing two distinct forms of biological explanation – ultimate and proximate. If correct, the point is of considerable importance: evolutionary genealogies of human morality are simply irrelevant for debunking. But we argue that the actual situation is subtler: while ultimate claims do not strictly entail proximate ones, there are important evidential connections between (...)
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  • How to Avoid Begging the Question Against Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.David Copp - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):231-245.
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  • Debunking Morality: Lessons From the EAAN Literature.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):208-226.
    This paper explores evolutionary debunking arguments as they arise in metaethics against moral realism and in philosophy of religion against naturalism. Both literatures have independently grappled with the question of which beliefs one may use to respond to a potential defeater. In this paper, I show how the literature on the argument against naturalism can help clarify and bring progress to the literature on moral realism with respect to this question. Of note, it will become clear that the objection that (...)
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  • No Need to Get Up From the Armchair (If You're Interested in Debunking Arguments in Metaethics).Dan Baras - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-16.
    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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  • El conservadurismo realista acerca de la composición de Daniel Korman.Ezequiel Zerbudis - 2018 - Cuadernos de Filosofía 36:33-53.
    In this paper I first present Dan Korman’s (2015) recent defence of a conservative view as regards the existence and composition of material objects, and then go on to criticize some of his arguments. I will focus on two related issues: on the one hand, I argue that his defense of that kind of view by making use of what he calls “arguments from counterexamples” has some metaontological presuppositions that are indeed unacceptable for someone defending the revisionist views he opposes; (...)
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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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  • Panpsychism, Intuitions, and the Great Chain of Being.Luke Roelofs & Jed Buchanan - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2991-3017.
    Some philosophical theories of consciousness imply consciousness in things we would never intuitively think are conscious—most notably, panpsychism implies that consciousness is pervasive, even outside complex brains. Is this a reductio ab absurdum for such theories, or does it show that we should reject our original intuitions? To understand the stakes of this question as clearly as possible, we analyse the structured pattern of intuitions that panpsychism conflicts with. We consider a variety of ways that the tension between this intuition (...)
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  • Moral Skepticism: An Introduction and Overview.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Moral Skepticism: New Essays. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-31.
    In this introductory chapter, I not only present the essays that make up this volume but also I offer an extensive critical overview of moral skepticism with the hope that it will turn out to be useful particularly to the uninitiated reader. I first provide a taxonomy of varieties of moral skepticism, then discuss the main arguments advanced in their favor, and finally summarize the ten essays here collected, which deal with one or more of those skeptical stances and arguments.
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • Indoctrination Anxiety and the Etiology of Belief.Joshua DiPaolo & Robert Mark Simpson - 2016 - Synthese 193 (10):3079-3098.
    People sometimes try to call others’ beliefs into question by pointing out the contingent causal origins of those beliefs. The significance of such ‘Etiological Challenges’ is a topic that has started attracting attention in epistemology. Current work on this topic aims to show that Etiological Challenges are, at most, only indirectly epistemically significant, insofar as they bring other generic epistemic considerations to the agent’s attention. Against this approach, we argue that Etiological Challenges are epistemically significant in a more direct and (...)
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  • Expressivism and the Reliability Challenge.Camil Golub - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):797-811.
    Suppose that there are objective normative facts and our beliefs about such facts are by-and-large true. How did this come to happen? This is the reliability challenge to normative realism. As has been recently noted, the challenge also applies to expressivist “quasi-realism”. I argue that expressivism is useful in the face of this challenge, in a way that has not been yet properly articulated. In dealing with epistemological issues, quasi-realists typically invoke the desire-like nature of normative judgments. However, this is (...)
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  • Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    Debunking arguments—also known as etiological arguments, genealogical arguments, access problems, isolation objec- tions, and reliability challenges—arise in philosophical debates about a diverse range of topics, including causation, chance, color, consciousness, epistemic reasons, free will, grounding, laws of nature, logic, mathematics, modality, morality, natural kinds, ordinary objects, religion, and time. What unifies the arguments is the transition from a premise about what does or doesn't explain why we have certain mental states to a negative assessment of their epistemic status. I examine (...)
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  • Independence and New Ways to Remain Steadfast in the Face of Disagreement.Andrew Moon - 2018 - Episteme 15 (1):65-79.
    An important principle in the epistemology of disagreement is Independence, which states, “In evaluating the epistemic credentials of another’s expressed belief about P, in order to determine how (or whether) to modify my own belief about P, I should do so in a way that doesn’t rely on the reasoning behind my initial belief about P” (Christensen 2011, 1-2). I present a series of new counterexamples to both Independence and also a revised, more widely applicable, version of it. I then (...)
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  • Moral Perception.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1).
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