Biology and Philosophy 33 (5-6):41 (2018)

Authors
Jeroen Hopster
Utrecht University
Abstract
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 claims about the evolution of our moral judgments. Next, I argue that combining their respective evolutionary claims can help debunkers to make the best empirical case against moral realism. Some realists have argued that the very attempt to explain the contents of our endorsed moral judgments in evolutionary terms is misguided, and have sought to escape EDAs by denying their evolutionary premise. But realists who pursue this reply can still be challenged on empirical grounds: debunkers may argue that the best, scientifically informed historical explanations of our moral endorsements do not involve an appeal to mind-independent truths. I conclude, therefore, that the empirical considerations relevant for the strongest empirically driven argument against moral realism go beyond the strictly evolutionary realm; debunkers are best advised to draw upon other sources of genealogical knowledge as well.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
ISBN(s)
DOI 10.1007/s10539-018-9652-0
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Moral Realism: A Defence.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Disagreement and Doubts About Darwinian Debunking.Alexandra Plakias - forthcoming - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice:1-15.

View all 7 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Real Problem with Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Louise Hanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):508-33.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments in Ethics.Diego E. Machuca - 2018 - Oxford Bibliographies in Philosophy.
A New Evolutionary Debunking Argument Against Moral Realism.Justin Morton - 2016 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 2 (2):233-253.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science.Arnon Levy & Yair Levy - 2020 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):491-509.
Evolutionary Debunking, Moral Realism and Moral Knowledge.Russ Shafer-Landau - 2012 - Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 7 (1):1-38.
Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2018-11-13

Total views
179 ( #66,490 of 2,518,804 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
14 ( #55,443 of 2,518,804 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes