Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science

Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):491-509 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 Richard Joyce. We raise a battery of considerations, both empirical and theoretical, that combine to cast doubt on the plausibility of both hypotheses. We also suggest that it is unlikely that there is in the vicinity a plausible alternative hypothesis suitable for the debunker’s cause.

Similar books and articles

Evolutionary Debunking of Moral Realism.Katia Vavova - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (2):104-116.
Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Guy Kahane - 2010 - Noûs 45 (1):103-125.
Debunking Evolutionary Debunking.Katia Vavova - 2014 - Oxford Studies in Metaethics 9:76-101.
The Real Problem with Evolutionary Debunking Arguments.Louise Hanson - 2017 - Philosophical Quarterly 67 (268):508-33.
What Makes Evolution a Defeater?Matt Lutz - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (6):1105-1126.
Debunking Arguments from Insensitivity.Matthew Braddock - 2017 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 7 (2):91-113.
Nativism and the Evolutionary Debunking of Morality.Brendan Cline - 2015 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 6 (2):231-253.

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-08-01

Downloads
1,494 (#6,093)

6 months
347 (#4,294)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author Profiles

Arnon Levy
Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Yair Levy
Tel Aviv University

Citations of this work

Culture and Cognitive Science.Andreas De Block & Daniel Kelly - 2022 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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.
Morality and Evolutionary Biology.William Fitzpatrick - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

View all 17 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

On What Matters: Two-Volume Set.Derek Parfit - 2011 - New York: Oxford University Press.
A Darwinian dilemma for realist theories of value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
The ethical project.Philip Kitcher - 2011 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

View all 41 references / Add more references