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Challenges to Moral and Religious BeliefDisagreement and Evolution$
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Michael Bergmann and Patrick Kain

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199669776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199669776.001.0001

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Darwinian Normative Skepticism

Darwinian Normative Skepticism

(p.220) 11 Darwinian Normative Skepticism
Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief

Dustin Locke

Oxford University Press

Sharon Street (2006) has argued that, given certain plausible evolutionary considerations, normative realism leads to normative skepticism. Street calls this ‘the Darwinian dilemma’. This chapter 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 chapter argues that the minimalist response is in principle unacceptable, and that the naturalist response faces a very serious difficulty.

Keywords:   normative realism, evolution, normative skepticism, naturalist response, minimalist response

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