Modal Security and Evolutionary Debunking

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 47:135-156 (2023)
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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 do their advertised work of blocking evolutionary moral debunking arguments. If there is a security principle that slips between the horns of this dilemma—one that is both viable and debunker-blocking—it remains to be formulated.

Author Profiles

Daniel Z. Korman
University of California at Santa Barbara
Dustin Locke
Claremont McKenna College


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