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  1. Global Debunking Arguments.Andrew Moon - 2023 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. Routledge.
    This chapter explores global debunking arguments, debunking arguments that aim to give one a global defeater. I defend Alvin Plantinga’s view that global defeaters are possible and, once gained, are impossible to escape by reasoning. They thereby must be extinguished by other means: epistemically propitious actions, luck, or grace. I then distinguish between three types of global defeater—pure-undercutters, undercutters-because-rebutters, and undercutters-while-rebutters—and systematically consider how one can deflect such defeaters. Lastly, since I draw insights from the literature on perhaps the most (...)
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  • How Gene–Culture Coevolution Can—but Probably Did Not—Track Mind-Independent Moral Truth.Nathan Cofnas - 2023 - Philosophical Quarterly 73 (2):414-434.
    I argue that our general disposition to make moral judgments and our core moral intuitions are likely the product of social selection—a kind of gene–culture coevolution driven by the enforcement of collectively agreed-upon rules. Social selection could potentially track mind-independent moral truth by a process that I term realist social selection: our ancestors could have acquired moral knowledge via reason and enforced rules based on that knowledge, thereby creating selection pressures that drove the evolution of our moral psychology. Given anthropological (...)
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  • By Which We May Be Judged: Moral Epistemology, Mind-Independent Truth Conditions And Sources Of Normativity.Maarten Van Doorn - 2022 - Dissertation, Central European University
    Nominated for CEU's Best Dissertation Award 2022. One of the most widely held philosophical views about the nature of ethics is non-naturalistic moral realism. According to this view, there exist sui generis and causally inefficacious properties, which are also inherently normative. Facts about the distribution of these ontologically fundamental properties constitute the source of morality. The answers to important normative questions–such as whether happiness matters, what we have reason to do, and so on–hinge, therefore, on the existence and patterns of (...)
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  • A Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments in ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (5):1673-1692.
    Debunking arguments in ethics contend that our moral beliefs have dubious evolutionary, cultural, or psychological origins—hence concluding that we should doubt such beliefs. Debates about debunking are often couched in coarse-grained terms—about whether our moral beliefs are justified or not, for instance. In this paper, I propose a more detailed Bayesian analysis of debunking arguments, which proceeds in the fine-grained framework of rational confidence. Such analysis promises several payoffs: it highlights how debunking arguments don’t affect all agents, but rather only (...)
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  • Defusing the Regress Challenge to Debunking Arguments.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 50 (6):785-800.
    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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  • Evolutionary debunking arguments and the explanatory scope of natural selection.Joeri Witteveen - 2019 - Synthese 198 (7):6009-6024.
    An influential species of evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism holds that since cumulative natural selection shaped the contents of our moral beliefs, those beliefs do not count as knowledge. Critics have taken issue with a range of empirical, epistemic, and metaphysical assumptions that EDAs are said to rely on, which has engendered a complex debate over whether and to what extent the debunking challenge succeeds. However, recently it has been argued that we can reject EDAs without having to enter (...)
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  • 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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  • 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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  • Moral perception.Preston J. Werner - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (1):e12640.
    Moral perceptualism is the theory that perception and perceptual experience is attuned to moral features in our environment. This idea has received renewed attention in the last 15–20 years, for its potential to do theoretical work in moral epistemology and moral psychology. In this paper, I review the main motivations and arguments for moral perceptualism, the variety of theories that go under the heading of “moral perception,” and the three biggest challenges to moral perception. https://youtu.be/9cc_1zykq80.
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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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  • The Limits of Rational Belief Revision: A Dilemma for the Darwinian Debunker.Katia Vavova - 2021 - Noûs 55 (3):717-734.
    We are fallible creatures, prone to making all sorts of mistakes. So, we should be open to evidence of error. But what constitutes such evidence? And what is it to rationally accommodate it? I approach these questions by considering an evolutionary debunking argument according to which (a) we have good, scientific, reason to think our moral beliefs are mistaken, and (b) rationally accommodating this requires revising our confidence in, or altogether abandoning the suspect beliefs. I present a dilemma for such (...)
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  • Debunking and fully apt belief.Joshua C. Thurow - 2018 - Filosofia Unisinos 19 (3).
    One of the contentious philosophical issues surrounding the cognitive science of religion (CSR) is whether well-confirmed CSR theories would debunk religious beliefs. These debates have been contentious in part because of criticisms of epistemic principles used in debunking arguments. In this paper I use Ernest Sosa’s respected theory of knowledge as fully apt belief—which avoids objections that have been leveled against sensitivity and safety principles often used in debunking arguments—to construct a plausible debunking argument for religious belief on the assumption (...)
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  • How can we come to know metaphysical modal truths?Amie L. Thomasson - 2018 - Synthese 198 (Suppl 8):2077-2106.
    Those who aim to give an account of modal knowledge face two challenges: the integration challenge of reconciling an account of what is involved in knowing modal truths with a plausible story about how we can come to know them, and the reliability challenge of giving a plausible account of how we could have evolved a reliable capacity to acquire modal knowledge. I argue that recent counterfactual and dispositional accounts of modal knowledge cannot solve these problems regarding specifically metaphysical modal (...)
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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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  • Two epistemological challenges regarding hypothetical modeling.Peter Tan - 2022 - Synthese 200 (6).
    Sometimes, scientific models are either intended to or plausibly interpreted as representing nonactual but possible targets. Call this “hypothetical modeling”. This paper raises two epistemological challenges concerning hypothetical modeling. To begin with, I observe that given common philosophical assumptions about the scope of objective possibility, hypothetical models are fallible with respect to what is objectively possible. There is thus a need to distinguish between accurate and inaccurate hypothetical modeling. The first epistemological challenge is that no account of the epistemology of (...)
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  • Genealogical Undermining for Conspiracy Theories.Alexios Stamatiadis-Bréhier - 2023 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy:1-23.
    In this paper I develop a genealogical approach for investigating and evaluating conspiracy theories. I argue that conspiracy theories with an epistemically problematic genealogy are (in virtue of that fact) epistemically undermined. I propose that a plausible type of candidate for such conspiracy theories involves what I call ‘second-order conspiracies’ (i.e. conspiracies that aim to create conspiracy theories). Then, I identify two examples involving such conspiracies: the antivaccination industry and the industry behind climate change denialism. After fleshing out the mechanisms (...)
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  • A moral critique of psychological debunking.Nicholas Smyth - 2021 - Journal of Social Philosophy 53 (2):255-272.
    Journal of Social Philosophy, Volume 53, Issue 2, Page 255-272, Summer 2022.
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Theistic Arguments from Horrendous Evils.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Philosophy Compass 17 (8):e12866.
    While the existence of horrendous evils has generally been taken to be evidence against the existence of God, some philosophers have suggested that it may be evidence for the existence of God. This paper introduces three main kinds of theistic arguments from horrendous evils: the argument from objectively horrifying evils, the pragmatic argument from evil, and an argument from reasonable responses. For each of these arguments, I will first reconstruct a standard version of the argument, before suggesting ways the argument (...)
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  • The challenge of heritability: genetic determinants of beliefs and their implications.Wade Munroe - 2020 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 63 (8):831-874.
    ABSTRACT Ethical and political attitudes are not randomly distributed in a population. Attitudes of family members, for example, tend to be more similar than those of a random sample of the same size. In the fields of social psychology and political science, the historically standard explanation for these attitude distribution patterns was that social and political attitudes are a function of environmental factors like parental socialization and prevailing social norms. This received view is, however, complicated by more recent work in (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Moral knowledge and the existence of God.Noah D. McKay - 2023 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 94 (1).
    In this essay, I argue that, all else being equal, theism is more probable than naturalism on the assumption that human beings are able to arrive at a body of moral knowledge that is largely accurate and complete. I put forth this thesis on grounds that, if naturalism is true, the explanation of the content of our moral intuitions terminates either in biological-evolutionary processes or in social conventions adopted for pragmatic reasons; that, if this is so, our moral intuitions were (...)
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  • Can Rational Reflection Save Moral Knowledge From Debunking?Noah McKay - 2023 - Episteme:1-16.
    In this essay, I reply to an influential objection to evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism. According to this objection, our capacity for autonomous rational reflection allows us to grasp moral truths independently of distorting evolutionary influences, so those influences do not prevent us from having moral knowledge. I argue that rational moral reflection is not, in fact, autonomous from evolutionary influences, since it depends on our evolved, pre-reflective grasp of moral properties. I then consider and reject the suggestion that (...)
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  • Précis of Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind.Joshua May - 2019 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 42 (e146):1-60.
    Regard for Reason in the Moral Mind argues that a careful examination of the scientific literature reveals a foundational role for reasoning in moral thought and action. Grounding moral psychology in reason then paves the way for a defense of moral knowledge and virtue against a variety of empirical challenges, such as debunking arguments and situationist critiques. The book attempts to provide a corrective to current trends in moral psychology, which celebrate emotion over reason and generate pessimism about the psychological (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science.Arnon Levy & Yair Levy - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):491-509.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments appeal to selective etiologies of human morality in an attempt to undermine moral realism. But is morality actually the product of evolution by natural selection? Although debunking arguments have attracted considerable attention in recent years, little of it has been devoted to whether the underlying evolutionary assumptions are credible. In this paper, we take a closer look at the evolutionary hypotheses put forward by two leading debunkers, namely Sharon Street and Richard Joyce. We raise a battery of (...)
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  • Evolutionary debunking of (arguments for) moral realism.Arnon Levy & Itamar Weinshtock Saadon - 2023 - Synthese 201 (5):1-22.
    Moral realism is often taken to have common sense and initial appearances on its side. Indeed, by some lights, common sense and initial appearances underlie all the central positive arguments for moral realism. We offer a kind of debunking argument, taking aim at realism’s common sense standing. Our argument differs from familiar debunking moves both in its empirical assumptions and in how it targets the realist position. We argue that if natural selection explains the objective phenomenology of moral deliberation and (...)
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  • Contingency, Sociality, and Moral Progress.Olof Leffler - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association:1-20.
    A debate has recently appeared regarding whether non-naturalism is better than other metaethical views at explaining moral progress. I shall take the occasion of this debate to present a novel debunking dilemma for moral non-naturalists, extending Sharon Street's Darwinian one. I will argue that moral progress indicates that our moral attitudes tend to reflect contingent sociocultural and psychological factors. For non-naturalists, there is then either a relation between these factors and the moral facts, non-naturalistically construed, or there is not. If (...)
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  • Modal Security and Evolutionary Debunking.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2023 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:135-156.
    According to principles of modal security, evidence undermines a belief only when it calls into question certain purportedly important modal connections between one’s beliefs and the truth (e.g., safety or sensitivity). Justin Clarke-Doane and Dan Baras have advanced such principles with the aim of blocking evolutionary moral debunking arguments. We examine a variety of different principles of modal security, showing that some of these are too strong, failing to accommodate clear cases of undermining, while others are too weak, failing to (...)
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  • Debunking arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12):e12638.
    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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  • An Explanationist Account of Genealogical Defeat.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2023 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 106 (1):176-195.
    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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Evolution and Moral Disagreement.Michael Klenk - 2018 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 14 (2).
    Several philosophers have recently argued that evolutionary considerations undermine the justification of all objectivist moral beliefs by implying a hypothetical disagreement: had our evolutionary history been different, our moral beliefs would conflict with the moral beliefs of our counterfactual selves. This paper aims at showing that evolutionary considerations do not imply epistemically relevant moral disagreement. In nearby scenarios, evolutionary considerations imply tremendous moral agreement. In remote scenarios, evolutionary considerations do not entail relevant disagreement with our epistemic peers, neither on a (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Proper Function and Ethical Judgment Towards A Biosemantic Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse.Drew Johnson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2867-2891.
    This paper employs Ruth Millikan’s biosemantic theory of representation to develop a proposal about the function of ethical claims and judgments. I propose that ethical claims and judgments (or ethical ‘affirmations’) have the function of simultaneously tracking the morally salient features of social situations and directing behavior that coordinates in a collectively beneficial way around those features. Thus, ethical affirmations count as a species of what Millikan labels ‘Pushmi-Pullyu’ representations that simultaneously have a descriptive and a directive direction of fit. (...)
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  • Proper Function and Ethical Judgment Towards A Biosemantic Theory of Ethical Thought and Discourse.Drew Johnson - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (7):2867-2891.
    This paper employs Ruth Millikan’s biosemantic theory of representation to develop a proposal about the function of ethical claims and judgments. I propose that ethical claims and judgments (or ethical ‘affirmations’) have the function of simultaneously tracking the morally salient features of social situations and directing behavior that coordinates in a collectively beneficial way around those features. Thus, ethical affirmations count as a species of what Millikan labels ‘Pushmi-Pullyu’ representations that simultaneously have a descriptive and a directive direction of fit. (...)
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  • Speciesism and tribalism: Embarrassing origins.François Jaquet - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):933-954.
    Animal ethicists have been debating the morality of speciesism for over forty years. Despite rather persuasive arguments against this form of discrimination, many philosophers continue to assign humans a higher moral status than nonhuman animals. The primary source of evidence for this position is our intuition that humans’ interests matter more than the similar interests of other animals. And it must be acknowledged that this intuition is both powerful and widespread. But should we trust it for all that? The present (...)
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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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  • ‘Let No-One Ignorant of Geometry…’: Mathematical Parallels for Understanding the Objectivity of Ethics.James Franklin - 2023 - Journal of Value Inquiry 57 (2):365-384.
    It may be a myth that Plato wrote over the entrance to the Academy “Let no-one ignorant of geometry enter here.” But it is a well-chosen motto for his view in the Republic that mathematical training is especially productive of understanding in abstract realms, notably ethics. That view is sound and we should return to it. Ethical theory has been bedevilled by the idea that ethics is fundamentally about actions (right and wrong, rights, duties, virtues, dilemmas and so on). That (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Why undermining evolutionary debunkers is not enough.Andrew del Rio - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):7437-7452.
    Denying the conclusion of a valid argument is not generally permissible if one suspends on one premise of the argument and believes the other premise. This can happen when one’s only critique of an argument is to undermine one premise. There is incoherence there. Here I examine how this is relevant to the debate on evolutionary debunking of our moral knowledge. I argue that one significant line of response to the debunker is unsuccessful: merely undermining the debunker’s empirical claim. It (...)
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  • Three problems for the evolutionary debunking argument.Oscar Davis & Damian Cox - 2023 - Ratio 36 (1):41-50.
    In attempting to debunk moral realism through an appeal to evolutionary facts, debunkers face a series of problems, which we label the problems of scope, corrosiveness, and post‐hoc justification. To overcome these problems, debunkers must assume certain metaphysical or epistemological positions, or otherwise pre‐establish them. In doing so, they must assume or pre‐establish the very conclusion they seek in advancing the argument. This means that such debunking arguments either beg the question against the moral realist or are undermined as standalone (...)
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