DOI: 10.5176/2382-5677_PYTT13.39

Authors: Jared Poon

Abstract:

Some arguments for debunking moral realism rely on a distinction in how evolutionary forces select for dispositions to form moral beliefs versus how evolutionary forces select for dispositions to form non-moral beliefs. This distinction relies on what I call adaptiveness truth-dependence. The debunkers argue that the adaptiveness of dispositions to form many of our non-moral beliefs is truth-dependent, whereas the adaptiveness of dispositions to form many of our moral beliefs is not truth-dependent.

I argue against this distinction in two ways. In the first, I argue that the distinction is dialectically problematic. In the second, I argue that the line the distinction is not a clean one, by raising a couple of examples of dispositions to non-moral beliefs that do not rely on the truth of the beliefs for their adaptive value.

Keywords: evolutionary ethics, moral realism

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