Does Evolutionary Psychology Show That Normativity Is Mind-Dependent?

In Justin D'Arms & Daniel Jacobson (eds.), Moral Psychology and Human Agency: Philosophical Essays on the Science of Ethics. Oxford University Press. pp. 215-252 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Abstract
Suppose we grant that evolutionary forces have had a profound effect on the contours of our normative judgments and intuitions. Can we conclude anything from this about the correct metaethical theory? I argue that, for the most part, we cannot. Focusing my attention on Sharon Street’s justly famous argument that the evolutionary origins of our normative judgments and intuitions cause insuperable epistemological difficulties for a metaethical view she calls "normative realism," I argue that there are two largely independent lines of argument in Street’s work which need to be teased apart. The first of these involves a genuine appeal to evolutionary considerations, but it can fairly easily be met by her opponents. The second line of argument is more troubling; it raises a significant problem, one of the most difficult in all of philosophy, namely how to justify our reliance on our most basic cognitive faculties without relying on those same faculties in a question-begging manner. However, evolutionary considerations add little to this old problem, and rejecting normative realism is not a way to solve it.
Keywords
No keywords specified (fix it)
PhilPapers/Archive ID
BERDEP
Revision history
First archival date: 2013-06-19
Latest version: 4 (2014-12-26)
View upload history
References found in this work BETA
Justice for Hedgehogs.Dworkin, Ronald

View all 24 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

Added to PP index
2013-06-18

Total views
4,473 ( #177 of 40,684 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
138 ( #2,914 of 40,684 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks to external links.