Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Challenges to Moral and Religious BeliefDisagreement and Evolution$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

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

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 29 November 2020

Why There is No Darwinian Dilemma for Ethical Realism

Why There is No Darwinian Dilemma for Ethical Realism

(p.237) 12 Why There is No Darwinian Dilemma for Ethical Realism
Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief

William J. FitzPatrick

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a realist response to Street’s ‘Darwinian Dilemma’ and to evolutionary debunking arguments more generally, showing that there is in fact no such dilemma for ethical realism and that the debunking arguments fail. Nothing in evolutionary biology supports the debunkers’ strong explanatory claims about the etiology of our moral beliefs, unless those arguments are supplemented by philosophical claims that beg the question against realism from the start. At most, the debunking arguments pose an open challenge to realists to provide an alternative account of how we have come to hold some of our moral beliefs that constitute moral knowledge, without running afoul of good science. Finally, Enoch’s alternative realist approach to answering debunking arguments — accepting debunkers’ explanatory claims and then appealing to a ‘pre-established harmony’ between moral beliefs and facts, brought about by some ‘third factor’ — is argued to be unsatisfactory.

Keywords:   evolution, ethical/moral realism, debunking, realism, sharon street, darwinian dilemma, enoch, evolutionary debunking

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .