Results for 'Evolutionary Debunking Arguments'

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  1. 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 (...)
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  2. Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Really Self-Defeating?Fabio Sterpetti - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (3):877-889.
    Evolutionary Debunking Arguments are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary genealogy of our beliefs to undermine their justification. Recently, Helen De Cruz and her co-authors supported the view that EDAs are self-defeating: if EDAs claim that human arguments are not justified, because the evolutionary origin of the beliefs which figure in such arguments undermines those beliefs, and EDAs themselves are human arguments, then EDAs are not justified, and we should (...)
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  3. Local Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Rach Cosker-Rowland - 2019 - Philosophical Perspectives 33 (1):170-199.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments in ethics aim to use facts about the evolutionary causes of ethical beliefs to undermine their justification. Global Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (GDAs) are arguments made in metaethics that aim to undermine the justification of all ethical beliefs. Local Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (LDAs) are arguments made in first‐order normative ethics that aim to undermine the justification of only some of our ethical beliefs. Guy Kahane, Regina Rini, (...)
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  4. 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 (...)
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  5. Are Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Self-Debunking?Christos Kyriacou - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (4):1351-1366.
    I argue that, at least on the assumption that if there are epistemic facts they are irreducible, the evolutionary debunking maneuver is prima facie self-debunking because it seems to debunk a certain class of facts, namely, epistemic facts that prima facie it needs to rely on in order to launch its debunking arguments. I then appeal to two recent reconstructions of the evolutionary debunking maneuver (Kahane (2011), Griffiths and Wilkins (2015)) and find them (...)
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  6. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, Explanatory Structure, and Anti-Realism.Karl Schafer - 2017 - In Karsten Stueber & Remy Debes (eds.), Ethical Sentimentalism: New Perspectives. Cambridge University Press. pp. 66-85.
    In this essay, I distinguish two different epistemological strategies an anti-realist might pursue in developing an "evolutionary debunking" of moral realism. Then I argue that a moral realist can resist both of these strategies by calling into question the epistemological presuppositions on which they rest. Nonetheless, I conclude that these arguments point to a legitimate source of dissatisfaction about many forms of moral realism. I conclude by discussing the way forward that these conclusions indicate.
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  7. Evolutionary debunking arguments in three domains: Fact, value, and religion.S. Wilkins John & E. Griffiths Paul - 2013 - In James Maclaurin Greg Dawes (ed.), A New Science of Religion. New York: Routledge.
    Ever since Darwin people have worried about the sceptical implications of evolution. If our minds are products of evolution like those of other animals, why suppose that the beliefs they produce are true, rather than merely useful? We consider this problem for beliefs in three different domains: religion, morality, and commonsense and scientific claims about matters of empirical fact. We identify replies to evolutionary scepticism that work in some domains but not in others. One reply is that evolution can (...)
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  8. Theistic Moral Realism, Evolutionary Debunking Arguments, and a Catholic Philosophy of Nature.Michael Rauschenbach - 2021 - 2019 Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments, whether defended by Street (2006), Joyce (2006), or others against moral realism, or by Plantinga (1993, 2011) and others against atheism, seek to determine the implications of the still-dominant worldview of naturalism. Examining them is thus a critical component of any defense of a theistic philosophy of nature. Recently, several authors have explored the connection between evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism (hence: EDAs) and Plantinga’s evolutionary argument against naturalistic atheism (...)
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  9. 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 (...)
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  10. Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and Our Shared Hatred of Pain.Ben Bramble - 2017 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 12 (1):94-101.
    This article responds to an argument from Katarzyna de Ladari-Radek and Peter Singer in their article, "The Objectivity of Ethics and the Unity of Practical Reason.".
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  11. Only All Naturalists Should Worry About Only One Evolutionary Debunking Argument.Tomas Bogardus - 2016 - Ethics 126 (3):636-661.
    Do the facts of evolution generate an epistemic challenge to moral realism? Some think so, and many “evolutionary debunking arguments” have been discussed in the recent literature. But they are all murky right where it counts most: exactly which epistemic principle is meant to take us from evolutionary considerations to the skeptical conclusion? Here, I will identify several distinct species of evolutionary debunking argument in the literature, each one of which relies on a distinct (...)
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  12. Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments start with a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our evaluative beliefs, and conclude that we are not justified in those beliefs. The value realist holds that there are attitude-independent evaluative truths. But the debunker argues that we have no reason to think that the evolutionary forces that shaped human evaluative attitudes would track those truths. Worse yet, we seem to have a good reason to think that they wouldn’t: evolution (...)
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  13. Debunking Arguments and Metaphysical Laws.Jonathan Barker - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (7):1829-1855.
    I argue that one’s views about which “metaphysical laws” obtain—including laws about what is identical with what, about what is reducible to what, and about what grounds what—can be used to deflect or neutralize the threat posed by a debunking explanation. I use a well-known debunking argument in the metaphysics of material objects as a case study. Then, after defending the proposed strategy from the charge of question-begging, I close by showing how the proposed strategy can be used (...)
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  14. Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments move from a premise about the influence of evolutionary forces on our moral beliefs to a skeptical conclusion about those beliefs. My primary aim is to clarify this empirically grounded epistemological challenge. I begin by distinguishing among importantly different sorts of epistemological attacks. I then demonstrate that instances of each appear in the literature under the ‘evolutionary debunking’ title. Distinguishing them clears up some confusions and helps us better understand the structure (...)
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  15. 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 (...)
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  16. Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin I. Goldman & Brian P. McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. New York, NY: 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 (...)
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  17. Recalibrating evolutionary debunking.Justis Koon - 2024 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 108 (2):456-478.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments purport to show that, if moral realism is true, all of our moral beliefs are unjustified. In this paper, I respond to two of the most enduring objections that have been raised against these arguments. The first objection claims that evolutionary debunking arguments are self-undermining, because they cannot be formulated without invoking epistemic principles, and epistemic principles are just as vulnerable to debunking as our moral beliefs. I argue that (...)
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  18. Evolutionary Debunking and the Folk/Theoretical Distinction.M. Scarfone - 2024 - Philosophia 52 (2):269-287.
    In metaethics, evolutionary debunking arguments combine empirical and epistemological premises to purportedly show that our moral judgments are unjustified. One objection to these arguments has been to distinguish between those judgments that evolutionary influence might undermine versus those that it does not. This response is powerful but not well understood. In this paper I flesh out the response by drawing upon a familiar distinction in the natural sciences, where it is common to distinguish folk judgments (...)
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  19. Expressivism, question substitution and evolutionary debunking.Kyriacou Christos - 2017 - Philosophical Psychology 30 (8):1019-1042.
    Expressivism is a blossoming meta-semantic framework sometimes relying on what Carter and Chrisman call “the core expressivist maneuver.” That is, instead of asking about the nature of a certain kind of value, we should be asking about the nature of the value judgment in question. According to expressivists, this question substitution opens theoretical space for the elegant, economical, and explanatorily powerful expressivist treatment of the relevant domain. I argue, however, that experimental work in cognitive psychology can shed light on how (...)
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  20. Evolutionary debunking: the Milvian Bridge destabilized.Christos Kyriacou - 2019 - Synthese 196 (7):2695-2713.
    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 (...)
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  21. Debunking Arguments in Parallel: The Cases of Moral Belief and Theistic Belief.Max Baker-Hytch - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge.
    There is now a burgeoning literature on evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) against moral beliefs, but perhaps surprisingly, a relatively small literature on EDAs against religious beliefs. There is an even smaller literature comparing the two. This essay aims to further the investigation of how the two sorts of arguments compare with each other. To begin with, I shall offer some remarks on how to best formulate these arguments, focusing on four different formulations that one can (...)
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  22. Global Debunking Arguments.Andrew Moon - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: 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 (...)
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  23. Eliminativism and Evolutionary Debunking.Jeffrey N. Bagwell - 2021 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 8:496-522.
    Eliminativists sometimes invoke evolutionary debunking arguments against ordinary object beliefs, either to help them establish object skepticism or to soften the appeal of commonsense ontology. I argue that object debunkers face a self-defeat problem: their conclusion undermines the scientific support for one of their premises, because evolutionary biology depends on our object beliefs. Using work on reductionism and multiple realizability from the philosophy of science, I argue that it will not suffice for an eliminativist debunker to (...)
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  24. Wrongness, evolutionary debunking, public rules.Brad Hooker - 2016 - Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 18 (1):135-149. Translated by Brad Hooker.
    Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer’s wonderful book, The Point of View of the Universe: Sidgwick and Contemporary Ethics, contains a wealth of intriguing arguments and compelling ideas. The present paper focuses on areas of continuing dispute. The paper first attacks LazariRadek’s and Singer’s evolutionary debunking arguments against both egoism and parts of common-sense morality. The paper then addresses their discussion of the role of rules in utilitarianism. De Lazari-Radek and Singer concede that rules should constitute (...)
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  25. The epistemology of evolutionary debunking.Justis Koon - 2021 - Synthese 199 (5-6):12155-12176.
    Fifteen years ago, Sharon Street and Richard Joyce advanced evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism, which purported to show that the evolutionary history of our moral beliefs makes moral realism untenable. These arguments have since given rise to a flurry of objections; the epistemic principles Street and Joyce relied upon, in particular, have come in for a number of serious challenges. My goal in this paper is to develop a new account of evolutionary (...) which avoids the pitfalls Street and Joyce encountered and responds to the most pressing objections they faced. I begin by presenting a striking thought experiment to serve as an analogy for the evolution of morality; I then show why calibrationist views of higher-order evidence are crucial to the evolutionary debunking project; I outline a new rationale for why finding out that morality was selected to promote cooperation suggests that our moral judgments are unreliable; and I explain why evolutionary debunking arguments do not depend on our having a dedicated faculty for moral cognition. All things considered, I argue, evolutionary debunking arguments against moral realism are on relatively secure footing – provided, at least, that we accept a calibrationist account of higher-order evidence. (shrink)
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  26. The Evolutionary Debunker Meets Sentimental Realism.Mauro Rossi & Christine Tappolet - 2016 - In Giancarlo Marchetti & Sarin Marchetti (eds.), Facts and Values: The Ethics and Metaphysics of Normativity. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 176-195.
    In this paper, we propose a defence of Value Realism that relies on the unusual combination of Values Realism with Sentimentalism. What this account, which we call “Sentimental Realism”, holds, in a nutshell, is that what makes evaluative facts special is their relationship to emotions. More precisely, Sentimental Realism claims that evaluative facts are fully objective facts, but that such facts are picked out by concepts that are response-dependent, in the sense that they are essentially tied to emotions. Our plan (...)
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  27. The Evolutionary Debunking of Quasi-Realism.Neil Sinclair & James Chamberlain - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 33-55.
    In “The Evolutionary Debunking of Quasi-Realism,” Neil Sinclair and James Chamberlain present a novel answer that quasi-realists can pro-vide to a version of the reliability challenge in ethics—which asks for an explanation of why our moral beliefs are generally true—and in so doing, they examine whether evolutionary arguments can debunk quasi-realism. Although reliability challenges differ from EDAs in several respects, there may well be a connection between them. For the explanatory premise of an EDA may state (...)
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  28. Milvian Bridges in Science, Religion, and Theology: Debunking Arguments and Cultural Evolution.Lari Launonen & Aku Visala - 2022 - In Diego E. Machuca (ed.), Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 185-204.
    In “Milvian Bridges in Science, Religion, and Theology: Debunking Arguments and Cultural Evolution,” Lari Launonen and Aku Visala engage with an EDA against religious belief that appeals to cultural rather than biological evolution. According to this EDA, religious beliefs are unjustified, not because they are generated by biologically shaped cognitive processes that are unreliable as far as those beliefs are concerned but because they are generated by cultural processes that select for those beliefs for their ability to produce (...)
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  29. Evolutionary Debunking and Moral Relativism.Daniel Z. Korman & Dustin Locke - 2019 - In Martin Kusch (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy of Relativism. Routledge. pp. 190-199.
    Our aim here is to explore the prospects of a relativist response to moral debunking arguments. We begin by clarifying the relativist thesis under consideration, and we explain why relativists seem well-positioned to resist the arguments in a way that avoids the drawbacks of existing responses. We then show that appearances are deceiving. At bottom, the relativist response is no less question-begging than standard realist responses, and – when we turn our attention to the strongest formulation of (...)
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  30. Debunking Arguments: Mathematics, Logic, and Modal Security.Justin Clarke-Doane - 2017 - In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    I discuss the structure of genealogical debunking arguments. I argue that they undermine our mathematical beliefs if they undermine our moral beliefs. The contrary appearance stems from a confusion of arithmetic truths with (first-order) logical truths, or from a confusion of reliability with justification. I conclude with a discussion of the cogency of debunking arguments, in light of the above. Their cogency depends on whether information can undermine all of our beliefs of a kind, F, without (...)
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  31. 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 (...)
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  32. 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 (...) don’t affect all agents, but rather only those agents who updated on their intuitions using a specific range of evidentiary weights; it underscores how the debunkers shouldn’t conclude that we should reduce confidence beyond some threshold, but rather only that we should reduce confidence by some amount; and it proposes a method of integrating different kinds of evidence—about the kinds of epistemic flaws at play, about the different possible origins of our moral beliefs, about the background normative assumptions we’re entitled to make—in order to arrive at a rational moral credence in light of debunking. (shrink)
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  33. 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 (...)
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  34. On the Difficulty of the Evolutionary Debunking of Scientific Realism: Graber and Golemon Buttressed.Luke Golemon & Abraham Graber - 2022 - Sophia 61 (3):557-563.
    In their recent article, Graber and Golemon (_Sophia_ 1–18, 2019 ) argue that any attempted evolutionary debunking of naturalism faces a dilemma. First, in order to be evolutionarily plausible, the skeptical implications must not be too broad. Second, in order to constitute a genuine challenge to scientific realism, the skeptical implications must not be too narrow. Graber and Golemon further develop an evolutionary debunking argument that avoids both horns of this dilemma. De Ray (_Erkenntnis_ 1–21, 2020 (...)
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  35. A debunking explanation for moral progress.Nathan Cofnas - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (11):3171-3191.
    According to “debunking arguments,” our moral beliefs are explained by evolutionary and cultural processes that do not track objective, mind-independent moral truth. Therefore (the debunkers say) we ought to be skeptics about moral realism. Huemer counters that “moral progress”—the cross-cultural convergence on liberalism—cannot be explained by debunking arguments. According to him, the best explanation for this phenomenon is that people have come to recognize the objective correctness of liberalism. Although Huemer may be the first philosopher (...)
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  36. 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 (...)
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  37. 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 (...)
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  38. Hanno Sauer, Debunking Arguments in Ethics , pp. xi + 244. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2019 - Utilitas 8 (4):1-5.
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  39. Evolutionary arguments against moral realism: Why the empirical details matter (and which ones do).Jeroen Hopster - 2018 - Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41.
    The aim of this article is to identify the strongest evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and to assess on which empirical assumptions it relies. In the recent metaethical literature, several authors have de-emphasized the evolutionary component of EDAs against moral realism: presumably, the success or failure of these arguments is largely orthogonal to empirical issues. I argue that this claim is mistaken. First, I point out that Sharon Street’s and Michael Ruse’s EDAs both involve substantive (...)
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  40. Debunking Debunking's Debunkers: A Response to Street's Critics.Corin Katzke - manuscript
    In her 2006 paper, A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value, Sharon Street argues that evolutionary psychology, if roughly true, undermines evaluative realism as a metaethical theory. Evolutionary psychology suggests that our moral beliefs track evolutionary pressures, and not realist evaluative truths. Therefore, Street concludes, evaluative realism entails moral skepticism. The most compelling arguments against Street's evolutionary debunking of evaluative realism suggest that its implications are unacceptable. Vavova (2014, 2021) argues that, in order (...)
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  41. Global Evolutionary Arguments: Self-Defeat, Circularity, and Skepticism about Reason.Diego E. Machuca - 2022 - In Evolutionary Debunking Arguments: Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology. New York: Routledge. pp. 333–359.
    In this essay, I consider an evolutionary debunking argument (EDA) that purports to undermine the epistemic justification of the belief in the reliability of our belief-forming processes, and an evolutionary vindicating argument (EVA) that seeks to establish that such a belief is epistemically justified. Whereas the EDA in question seems to fall prey to crippling self-defeat, the EVA under consideration seems to fall prey to vicious circularity. My interest in those arguments and the problems they face (...)
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  42. Evolution and the Missing Link (in Debunking Arguments).Uri D. Leibowitz & Neil Sinclair - 2017 - In Michael Ruse & Robert J. Richards (eds.), The Cambridge Handbook of Evolutionary Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press.
    What are the consequences, for human moral practice, of an evolutionary understanding of that practice? By ‘moral practice’ we mean the way in which human beings think, talk and debate in moral terms. We suggest that the proper upshot of such considerations is moderate support for anti-realism in ethics.
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  43. Debunking Rationalist Defenses of Common-Sense Ontology: An Empirical Approach.Robert Carry Osborne - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):197-221.
    Debunking arguments typically attempt to show that a set of beliefs or other intensional mental states bear no appropriate explanatory connection to the facts they purport to be about. That is, a debunking argument will attempt to show that beliefs about p are not held because of the facts about p. Such beliefs, if true, would then only be accidentally so. Thus, their causal origins constitute an undermining defeater. Debunking arguments arise in various philosophical domains, (...)
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  44. 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 (...)
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  45. Debunking (the) Retribution (Gap).Steven R. Kraaijeveld - 2020 - Science and Engineering Ethics 26 (3):1315-1328.
    Robotization is an increasingly pervasive feature of our lives. Robots with high degrees of autonomy may cause harm, yet in sufciently complex systems neither the robots nor the human developers may be candidates for moral blame. John Danaher has recently argued that this may lead to a retribution gap, where the human desire for retribution faces a lack of appropriate subjects for retributive blame. The potential social and moral implications of a retribution gap are considerable. I argue that the retributive (...)
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  46. Debunking morality: Evolutionary naturalism and moral error theory.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2003 - Biology and Philosophy 18 (4):567-581.
    The paper distinguishes three strategies by means of which empirical discoveries about the nature of morality can be used to undermine moral judgements. On the first strategy, moral judgements are shown to be unjustified in virtue of being shown to rest on ignorance or false belief. On the second strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false by being shown to entail claims inconsistent with the relevant empirical discoveries. On the third strategy, moral judgements are shown to be false in (...)
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  47. Numerical cognition and mathematical realism.Helen De Cruz - 2016 - Philosophers' Imprint 16.
    Humans and other animals have an evolved ability to detect discrete magnitudes in their environment. Does this observation support evolutionary debunking arguments against mathematical realism, as has been recently argued by Clarke-Doane, or does it bolster mathematical realism, as authors such as Joyce and Sinnott-Armstrong have assumed? To find out, we need to pay closer attention to the features of evolved numerical cognition. I provide a detailed examination of the functional properties of evolved numerical cognition, and propose (...)
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  48. 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 (...)
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  49. Tracking the Moral Truth: Debunking Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.Gerald L. Hull - manuscript
    Sharon Street’s 2006 article “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” challenges the epistemological pretensions of the moral realist, of the nonnaturalist in particular. Given that “Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes” – why should one suppose such attitudes and concomitant beliefs would track an independent moral reality? Especially since, on a nonnaturalist view, moral truth is causally inert. I abstract a logical skeleton of Street’s argument and, with its (...)
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  50. Darwinism in metaethics: What if the universal acid cannot be contained?Eleonora Severini & Fabio Sterpetti - 2017 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 39 (3):1-25.
    The aim of this article is to explore the impact of Darwinism in metaethics and dispel some of the confusion surrounding it. While the prospects for a Darwinian metaethics appear to be improving, some underlying epistemological issues remain unclear. We will focus on the so-called Evolutionary Debunking Arguments (EDAs) which, when applied in metaethics, are defined as arguments that appeal to the evolutionary origins of moral beliefs so as to undermine their epistemic justification. The point (...)
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