Philosophical Studies

, Volume 168, Issue 2, pp 457–473

Evolutionary debunking arguments and the reliability of moral cognition


    • School of PhilosophyAustralian National University

DOI: 10.1007/s11098-013-0140-8

Cite this article as:
Fraser, B.J. Philos Stud (2014) 168: 457. doi:10.1007/s11098-013-0140-8


Recent debate in metaethics over evolutionary debunking arguments against morality has shown a tendency to abstract away from relevant empirical detail. Here, I engage the debate about Darwinian debunking of morality with relevant empirical issues. I present four conditions that must be met in order for it to be reasonable to expect an evolved cognitive faculty to be reliable: the environment, information, error, and tracking conditions. I then argue that these conditions are not met in the case of our evolved faculty for moral judgement.


Evolutionary debunking argumentEvolution of moralityReliabilismError theory

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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013