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  1. From Scepticism to Anti‐Realism.Folke Tersman - 2019 - Dialectica 73 (3):411-427.
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  • Egoism.Robert Shaver - 2021 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Egoism can be a descriptive or a normative position. Psychological egoism, the most famous descriptive position, claims that each person has but one ultimate aim: her own welfare. Normative forms of egoism make claims about what one ought to do, rather than describe what one does do. Ethical egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to be morally right that it maximize one's self-interest. Rational egoism claims that it is necessary and sufficient for an action to (...)
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  • Big History, Value, and the Art of Continued Existence.Brendan Cline - 2020 - Philosophia 48 (3):901-930.
    There has lately been substantial interest in scrutinizing our evaluative attitudes in light of our evolutionary history. However, these discussions have been hampered by an insufficiently expansive vantage. Our history did not begin ex nihilo a few million years ago with the appearance of hominins, or apes, or primates—those are very recent chapters of a much larger story that spans billions of years. This paper situates the mechanisms underlying normative thought within this broader context. I argue that this historical perspective (...)
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  • Metaphysical Separatism and Epistemological Autonomy in Frege’s Philosophy and Beyond.Jim Hutchinson - forthcoming - British Journal for the History of Philosophy:1-25.
    Commentators regularly attribute to Frege realist, idealist, and quietist responses to metaphysical questions concerning the abstract objects he calls ‘thoughts’. But despite decades of effort, the evidence offered on behalf of these attributions remains unconvincing. I argue that Frege deliberately avoids commitment to any of these positions, as part of a metaphysical separatist policy motivated by the fact that logic is epistemologically autonomous from metaphysics. Frege’s views and arguments prove relevant to current attempts to argue for epistemological autonomy, particularly that (...)
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  • Darwinizing Debunking Arguments.Paul Sheldon Davies - 2019 - Ratio 32 (4):275-289.
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  • Realism and Constructivism in Kantian Metaethics 2 : The Kantian Conception of Rationality and Rationalist Constructivism.Karl Schafer - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (10):702-713.
    In the second half of this essay, I discuss the robust conception of rationality that lies at the heart of the Kantian version of Rationalist Constructivism – offering some reasons to prefer this conception to the more minimal accounts of rationality associated with Humean views. I then go on to discuss some of the potential metaethical advantages of the resulting form of constructivism.
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  • Moorean Arguments Against the Error Theory: A Defense.Eric Sampson - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Moorean arguments are a popular and powerful way to engage highly revisionary philosophical views, such as nihilism about motion, time, truth, consciousness, causation, and various kinds of skepticism (e.g., external world, other minds, inductive, global). They take, as a premise, a highly plausible first-order claim (e.g., cars move, I ate breakfast before lunch, it’s true that some fish have gills) and conclude from it the falsity of the highly revisionary philosophical thesis. Moorean arguments can be used against nihilists in ethics (...)
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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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  • Evolutionary Hypotheses and Moral Skepticism.Jessica Isserow - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (5):1025-1045.
    Proponents of evolutionary debunking arguments aim to show that certain genealogical explanations of our moral faculties, if true, undermine our claim to moral knowledge. Criticisms of these arguments generally take the debunker’s genealogical explanation for granted. The task of the anti-debunker is thought to be that of reconciling the truth of this hypothesis with moral knowledge. In this paper, I shift the critical focus instead to the debunker’s empirical hypothesis and argue that the skeptical strength of an evolutionary debunking argument (...)
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  • 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 for regulative metaepistemic norm. (...)
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  • 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 and potential of evolutionary debunking arguments.
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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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  • Debunking Arguments.Dan Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).
    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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  • 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 wanting. Along the way I set aside (...)
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  • Exorcism and Justified Belief in Demons.Marcus Hunt - 2020 - Forum Philosophicum: International Journal for Philosophy 2 (25):255-271.
    The paper offers a three-premise argument that a person with first-hand experience of possession and exorcism, such as an exorcist, can have a justified belief in the existence of demons. (1) “Exorcism involves a process by which the exorcist comes to believe that testimony is offered by a demon.” Cited for (1) are the Gospels, the Roman Ritual, some modern cases of exorcism, and exorcism practices in non-Christian contexts. (2) “If defeaters are absent, the exorcist may treat as reliable the (...)
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  • Can the Empirical Sciences Contribute to the Moral Realism/Anti-Realism Debate?Thomas Pölzler - 2018 - Synthese 195 (11):4907-4930.
    An increasing number of moral realists and anti-realists have recently attempted to support their views by appeal to science. Arguments of this kind are typically criticized on the object-level. In addition, however, one occasionally also comes across a more sweeping metatheoretical skepticism. Scientific contributions to the question of the existence of objective moral truths, it is claimed, are impossible in principle; most prominently, because such arguments impermissibly derive normative from descriptive propositions, such arguments beg the question against non-naturalist moral realism, (...)
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  • Must Realists Be Skeptics? An Aristotelian Reply to a Darwinian Dilemma.Micah Lott - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (1):71-96.
    In a series of influential essays, Sharon Street has argued, on the basis of Darwinian considerations, that normative realism leads to skepticism about moral knowledge. I argue that if we begin with the account of moral knowledge provided by Aristotelian naturalism, then we can offer a satisfactory realist response to Street’s argument, and that Aristotelian naturalism can avoid challenges facing other realist responses. I first explain Street’s evolutionary argument and three of the most prominent realist responses, and I identify challenges (...)
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  • Moral Arguments for the Existence of God.Peter rne - 2010 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Morality and Evolutionary Biology.William Fitzpatrick - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Moral Arguments for the Existence of God.Peter Byrne - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • A Defence of the Evolutionary Debunking Argument.Man Him Ip - 2021 - Dissertation, University of Birmingham
    In this thesis, I will explore the epistemological evolutionary debunking arguments in meta-ethics. I will defend these arguments by accomplishing two tasks: I will offer the best way to understand the EDA and I will also respond to two strongest objections to the EDA. Firstly, in Part I of this thesis, I will offer my account of how the EDA should be best formulated. I will start from how evolution has significantly influenced our moral beliefs. I will then explain why, (...)
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  • Need Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Rely on a Particular Metaphysical Construal of Evaluative Facts?Christopher Foster - unknown
    Sharon Street’s evolutionary debunking argument—her Darwinian Dilemma—is meant to challenge value realists to reconcile the evaluative attitudes we tend to hold, shaped as they are by evolution, with the attitude-independent evaluative facts that realists posit. Ramon Das argues that Street’s argument relies on illicit metaphysical assumptions about evaluative facts, and that these assumptions beg the question against a particular form of value realism called naturalist realism. I argue that Street makes no such metaphysical assumptions, and that her argument requires no (...)
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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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  • A dilemma for evolutionary debunking arguments.Uri D. Leibowitz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (1):45-69.
    Evolutionary debunkers claim that evolutionary explanations of moral phenomena lead to sceptical conclusions. The aim of this paper is to show that even if we grant debunkers the speculative claims that evolution provides the best explanation of moral phenomena and that there are no other moral phenomena for which moral facts/properties are indispensable, the sceptical conclusions debunkers seek to establish still do not follow. The problem for debunkers is to link the empirical explanatory claim to the normative conclusion that moral (...)
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  • A Liberal Realist Answer to Debunking Skeptics: The Empirical Case for Realism.Michael Huemer - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1983-2010.
    Debunking skeptics claim that our moral beliefs are formed by processes unsuited to identifying objective facts, such as emotions inculcated by our genes and culture; therefore, they say, even if there are objective moral facts, we probably don’t know them. I argue that the debunking skeptics cannot explain the pervasive trend toward liberalization of values over human history, and that the best explanation is the realist’s: humanity is becoming increasingly liberal because liberalism is the objectively correct moral stance.
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  • Debunking Evolutionary Debunking of Ethical Realism.William J. FitzPatrick - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (4):883-904.
    What implications, if any, does evolutionary biology have for metaethics? Many believe that our evolutionary background supports a deflationary metaethics, providing a basis at least for debunking ethical realism. Some arguments for this conclusion appeal to claims about the etiology of the mental capacities we employ in ethical judgment, while others appeal to the etiology of the content of our moral beliefs. In both cases the debunkers’ claim is that the causal roles played by evolutionary factors raise deep epistemic problems (...)
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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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  • 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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  • The Real Problem with Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Louise Hanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):508-33.
    There is a substantial literature on evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) in metaethics. According to these arguments, evolutionary explanations of our moral beliefs pose a significant problem for moral realism, specifically by committing the realist to an unattractive pessimism about the prospects of our having moral knowledge. In this paper, I argue that EDAs exploit an equivocation between two distinct readings of their central claim. One is plausibly true but has no epistemic relevance, and the other would have epistemic consequences for (...)
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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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  • Debunking and Disagreement.Folke Tersman - 2017 - Noûs 51 (4):754-774.
    The fact that debunkers can turn to the argument from disagreement for help is ofcourse not a surprise. After all, both types of challenge basically pursue the same,skeptical conclusion. What I have tried to show, however, is that they are related in amore intimate way.
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  • The Scope and Limits of Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Shang Long Yeo - 2020 - Dissertation, Australian National University
    Debunking arguments use empirical evidence about our moral beliefs - in particular, about their causal origins, or about how they depend on various causes - in order to reach an epistemic conclusion about the trustworthiness of such beliefs. In this thesis, I investigate the scope and limits of debunking arguments, and their implications for what we should believe about morality. I argue that debunking arguments can in principle work - they are based on plausible epistemic premises, and at least some (...)
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  • Evolutionary Debunking of Morality: Epistemological or Metaphysical?Ramon Das - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (2):417-435.
    It is widely supposed that evolutionary debunking arguments against morality constitute a type of epistemological objection to our moral beliefs. In particular, the debunking force of such arguments is not supposed to depend on the metaphysical claim that moral facts do not exist. In this paper I argue that this standard epistemological construal of EDAs is highly misleading, if not mistaken. Specifically, I argue that the most widely discussed EDAs all make key and controversial metaphysical claims about the nature of (...)
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  • Nativism and the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality.Brendan Cline - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):231-253.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments purport to undercut the justification of our moral judgments by showing why a tendency to make moral judgments would evolve regardless of the truth of those judgments. Machery and Mallon (2010. Evolution of morality. In J.M. Doris and The Moral Psychology Research Group (Eds.), The Moral Psychology Handbook (pp. 3-46). Oxford: Oxford University Press) have recently tried to disarm these arguments by showing that moral cognition – in the sense that is relevant to debunking – is not (...)
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  • Disagreement and Doubts About Darwinian Debunking.Alexandra Plakias - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments draw on claims about the biological origins of our moral beliefs to undermine moral realism. In this paper, I argue that moral disagreement gives us reason to doubt the evolutionary explanations of moral judgment on which such arguments rely. The extent of cross-cultural and historical moral diversity suggests that evolution can’t explain the content of moral norms. Nor can it explain the capacity to make moral judgment in the way the debunker requires: empirical studies of folk moral (...)
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  • The Moral Fixed Points: New Directions for Moral Nonnaturalism.Terence Cuneo & Russ Shafer-Landau - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 171 (3):399-443.
    Our project in this essay is to showcase nonnaturalistic moral realism’s resources for responding to metaphysical and epistemological objections by taking the view in some new directions. The central thesis we will argue for is that there is a battery of substantive moral propositions that are also nonnaturalistic conceptual truths. We call these propositions the moral fixed points. We will argue that they must find a place in any system of moral norms that applies to beings like us, in worlds (...)
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  • La réponse naturelle : une solution inadéquate au dilemme darwinien.Félix Aubé Beaudoin - 2015 - Philosophiques 42 (1):131-151.
    Félix Aubé Beaudoin | : Le dilemme darwinien, formulé par Sharon Street, somme les réalistes moraux d’expliquer pourquoi de nombreux jugements qui sont des candidats au statut de vérités morales indépendantes sont aussi ceux qui ont une grande valeur sélective. Les réalistes peuvent soit nier, soit affirmer l’existence d’un lien entre pressions évolutionnistes et vérités morales. Selon Street, la première option mène au scepticisme tandis que la seconde est indéfendable sur le plan scientifique. Peter Singer et Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek optent (...)
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  • 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 debunking which avoids the pitfalls Street and (...)
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  • Explaining Our Moral Reliability.Sinan Dogramaci - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):71-86.
    I critically examine an evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism. The key premise of the argument is that there is no adequate explanation of our moral reliability. I search for the strongest version of the argument; this involves exploring how ‘adequate explanation’ could be understood such that the key premise comes out true. Finally, I give a reductio: in the sense in which there is no adequate explanation of our moral reliability, there is equally no adequate explanation of our inductive (...)
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  • ‘ Varieties of Skeptical Invariantism I & II’.Christos Kyriacou - forthcoming - Philosophy Compass:12739.
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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, Epistemic Achievement, and Undermining Defeat.Michael Klenk - forthcoming - American Philosophical Quarterly.
    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 giving one reason to doubt that that belief is sensitive or safe. This leads to a novel conception of undermining defeat, and it shows that successful (...)
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  • Le quasi-réalisme et l’argument de la coïncidence.David Rocheleau-Houle - 2018 - Dialogue 57 (3):525-547.
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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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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  • Ethical Mooreanism.Jonathan Fuqua - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6943-6965.
    In this paper I lay out, argue for, and defend ethical Mooreanism. In essence, the view says that some moral propositions are Moorean propositions and thus are epistemically superior to the conjunctions of the premises of skeptical arguments to the contrary. In Sect. 1 I explain Mooreanism and then ethical Mooreanism. In Sect. 2 I argue for ethical Mooreanism by noting a number of important epistemic parities that hold between certain moral truths and standard Moorean facts. In Sect. 3 I (...)
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  • Evolution and Utilitarianism.François Jaquet - 2018 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 21 (5):1151-1161.
    Katarzyna de Lazari-Radek and Peter Singer have recently provided an evolutionary argument for utilitarianism. They argue that most of our deontological beliefs were shaped by evolution, from which they conclude that these beliefs are unjustified. By contrast, they maintain that the utilitarian belief that everyone’s well-being matters equally is immune to such debunking arguments because it wasn’t similarly influenced. However, Guy Kahane remarks that this belief lacks substantial content unless it is paired with an account of well-being, and he adds (...)
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  • Rescuing Tracking Theories of Morality.Marc Artiga - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (12):3357-3374.
    Street’s :109–166, 2006) Darwinian Dilemma purports to show that evolutionary considerations are in tension with realist theories of value, which include moral realism. According to this argument, moral realism can only be defended by assuming an implausible tracking relation between moral attitudes and moral facts. In this essay, I argue that this tracking relation is not as implausible as most people have assumed by showing that the three main objections against it are flawed. Since this is a key premise in (...)
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  • Modal Empiricism Made Difficult: An Essay in the Meta-Epistemology of Modality.Ylwa Sjölin Wirling - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Gothenburg
    Philosophers have always taken an interest not only in what is actually the case, but in what is necessarily the case and what could possibly be the case. These are questions of modality. Epistemologists of modality enquire into how we can know what is necessary and what is possible. This dissertation concerns the meta-epistemology of modality. It engages with the rules that govern construction and evaluation of theories in the epistemology of modality, by using modal empiricism – a form of (...)
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  • Moral Cheesecake, Evolved Psychology, and the Debunking Impulse.Daniel Kelly - 2017 - In Richard Joyce (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Evolution and Philosophy. New York, NY, USA: pp. 342-358.