Master of Arts
Date of Defense
Darwin’s Theory of Evolution can be mobilized to provide epistemological challenges to metanormative realism. It is argued that, since natural selection selects for behaviors adequate for survival and fecundity, our psychologies must be shaped by this same process. A-type challenges point to the improbability of the vast number of true normative beliefs given that they evolved to track survival and fecundity, not truth. B-type debunking arguments point to the improbability of the hypothesis that evolution would track truth given that there are a multitude of defeaters for this hypothesis. I will argue that both a-type and b-type arguments fail to validly calculate the improbability of evolution’s production of true normative beliefs. The former makes an error in assuming the independence of each belief while the latter does not consider the negation of the debunking hypothesis—the probability of human behavior adequate for survival and fecundity given false belief inputs.
Howd, Curtis, "Probability of Naturalism and Metanormative Realism" (2020). Theses. 366.