Evolutionary debunking: the Milvian Bridge destabilized

Synthese 196 (7):2695-2713 (2019)
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Recent literature has paid attention to a demarcation problem for evolutionary debunking arguments. This is the problem of asking in virtue of what regulative metaepistemic norm evolutionary considerations either render a belief justified, or debunk it as unjustified. I examine the so-called ‘Milvian Bridge principle’ A new science of religion, Routledge, New York, 2012; Sloan, McKenny, Eggelson Darwin in the 21st century: nature, humanity, and God, University Press, Notre Dame, 2015)), which offers exactly such a called for regulative metaepistemic norm. The Milvian Bridge principle suggests that the metaepistemic norm is: adaptive reliability for truth of cognitive processes that the existence of corresponding truth-making facts evolutionary theory justifies. I argue that the Milvian Bridge principle is problematic on a number of counts, something that is shown via spiraling ‘companions in guilt arguments’. Finally, I consider ‘the core reductionist objection’ to the critique of the Milvian Bridge principle and offer a response. I conclude that the Milvian Bridge principle is destabilized.
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