1st Edition

Evolutionary Debunking Arguments Ethics, Philosophy of Religion, Philosophy of Mathematics, Metaphysics, and Epistemology

Edited By Diego E. Machuca Copyright 2023
    380 Pages 2 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in evolutionary debunking arguments directed against certain types of belief, particularly moral and religious beliefs. According to those arguments, the evolutionary origins of the cognitive mechanisms that produce the targeted beliefs render these beliefs epistemically unjustified. The reason is that natural selection cares for reproduction and survival rather than truth, and false beliefs can in principle be as evolutionarily advantageous as true beliefs. The present volume brings together fourteen essays that examine evolutionary debunking arguments not only in ethics and philosophy of religion, but also in philosophy of mathematics, metaphysics, and epistemology. The essays move forward research on those arguments by shedding fresh light on old problems and proposing new lines of inquiry. The book will appeal to scholars and graduate students interested in the possible skeptical implications of evolutionary theory in any of the above domains.

    1. Introduction Diego E. Machuca

    I. Ethics

    2. Debunking What? Hallvard Lillehammer

    3. The Evolutionary Debunking of Quasi-Realism Neil Sinclair and James Chamberlain

    4. Fine-Tuning the Darwinian Dilemma Andreas Mogensen

    5. Virtue Epistemology and Evolutionary Debunking of Morality Michael Klenk

    II. Philosophy of Religion

    6. Debunking Arguments in Parallel: The Cases of Moral and Theistic Belief Max Baker-Hytch

    7. Rationalization, Reasons, and Religion Joshua Thurow

    8. Natural Nonbelief in God: Prehistoric Humans, Divine Hiddenness, and Debunking Matthew Braddock

    9. Milvian Bridges in Science, Religion, and Theology: Debunking Arguments and Cultural Evolution Lari Launonen and Aku Visala

    III. Philosophy of Mathematics

    10. The Epistemological Challenge to Robust Mathematical Platonism: A New Hope? Mary Leng

    11. What Logical Knowledge is Needed to Account for Our Mathematical Knowledge Sharon Berry

    IV. Metaphysics and Epistemology

    12. On Debunking Color Realism Dan Korman and Dustin Locke

    13. Debunking, Theoretical Indispensability, and Irreducible Epistemic Rationality Christos Kyriacou

    14. Global Debunking Arguments Andrew Moon

    15. Global Evolutionary Arguments: Self-Defeat, Circularity, and Skepticism about Reason Diego E. Machuca


    Diego E. Machuca is an Associate Researcher in Philosophy at CONICET (Argentina). His research is focused on skepticism, both ancient and contemporary. He is the author of Pyrrhonism Past and Present: Inquiry, Disagreement, Self-Knowledge, and Rationality (Springer, 2022). He is also the editor of New Essays on Ancient Pyrrhonism (Brill, 2011), Pyrrhonism in Ancient, Modern, and Contemporary Philosophy (Springer, 2011), Skepticism and Disagreement (Routledge, 2013), and Moral Skepticism: New Essays (Routledge, 2018), and the co-editor of Skepticism: From Antiquity to the Present (Bloomsbury Academic, 2018) and Les raisons du doute: ├ętudes sur le scepticisme antique (Classiques Garnier, 2019).