Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Meet Evolutionary Science

Arnon Levy, Yair Levy

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16 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)491-509
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophy and Phenomenological Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1 May 2020

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