Darwinian Normative Skepticism

In Michael Bergmann & Patrick Kain (eds.), Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution. Oxford University Press (2014)

Dustin Locke
Claremont McKenna College
Sharon Street (2006) has argued that, given certain plausible evolutionary considerations, normative realism leads to normative skepticism. Street calls this ‘the Darwinian dilemma’. This paper considers the two most popular responses to the Darwinian dilemma and argues that both are problematic. According to the naturalist response, the evolutionary account of our normative dispositions reveals that there was selection for normative dispositions that were reliable with respect to normative truth. According to the minimalist response, the evolutionary account reveals that there was selection of normative dispositions that were reliable with respect to normative truth. This paper argues that the minimalist response is in principle unacceptable, and that the naturalist response faces a very serious difficulty.
Keywords moral skepticism  evolutionary debunking arguments  normative skepticism  genetic debunking arguments  moral naturalism  Sharon Street  Richard Joyce  Darwinian dilemma  evolution of morality
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Debunking Morality: Lessons From the EAAN Literature.Andrew Moon - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):208-226.
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.

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