Philosophical Studies 175 (1):71-96 (2018)

Micah Lott
Boston College
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 to each of those responses. I then develop an Aristotelian response to Street. My core claim is this: Given Aristotelian naturalism’s account of moral truth and our knowledge of it, we can accept the influence of evolutionary processes on our moral beliefs, while also providing a principled, non-question-begging reason for thinking that those basic evaluative tendencies that evolution has left us with will push us toward, rather than away from, realist moral truths, so that our reliably getting things right does not require an unexplained and implausible coincidence.
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-0856-y
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References found in this work BETA

On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford University Press.
A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value.Sharon Street - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 127 (1):109-166.
Intelligent Virtue.Julia Annas - 2011 - Oxford University Press.
Natural Goodness.Philippa Foot - 2001 - Oxford University Press.

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Debunking Arguments.Daniel Z. Korman - 2019 - Philosophy Compass 14 (12).

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