Evolutionary debunking arguments and the reliability of moral cognition

Philosophical Studies 168 (2):457-473 (2014)
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Abstract

Recent debate in metaethics over evolutionary debunking arguments against morality has shown a tendency to abstract away from relevant empirical detail. Here, I engage the debate about Darwinian debunking of morality with relevant empirical issues. I present four conditions that must be met in order for it to be reasonable to expect an evolved cognitive faculty to be reliable: the environment, information, error, and tracking conditions. I then argue that these conditions are not met in the case of our evolved faculty for moral judgement.

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Benjamin James Fraser
Australian National University

Citations of this work

Debunking arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12):e12638.
Debunking Arguments in Metaethics and Metaphysics.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - In Alvin Goldman & Brian McLaughlin (eds.), Metaphysics and Cognitive Science. Oxford University Press. pp. 337-363.
Evolution and Moral Realism.Kim Sterelny & Ben Fraser - 2016 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 68 (4):981-1006.
Debunking Morality: Lessons from the EAAN Literature.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):208-226.

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References found in this work

Epistemology and cognition.Alvin I. Goldman - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
The emotional construction of morals.Jesse J. Prinz - 2007 - New York: Oxford University Press.

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