Princeton University Library Catalog

Darwinian Error Theory

Author/​Artist:
Mathews, Sam [Browse]
Format:
Senior thesis
Language:
English
Advisor(s):
McGrath, Sarah E. [Browse]
Department:
Princeton University. Department of Philosophy [Browse]
Class year:
2017
Summary note:
Anti-realists employ evolutionary debunking arguments to undermine realist theories of value. I analyze Sharon Street’s debunking argument, the Darwinian dilemma, and defend it from two realist objections. I argue that Street’s constructivism is susceptible to her own debunking argument and that this tension suggests moral skepticism. I then argue that evolutionary debunking arguments offer strong support for error theory. I conclude by defending error theory from two Darwinian replies and offering my thoughts on the debate between moral fictionalism and moral abolitionism. Darwinian forces offer powerful causal explanations for why we hold our moral beliefs, but simultaneously give us good reason to doubt their truth.