The Cultural Etiology of Morality Supports The Mind-Dependence of Moral Normativity
Organização:  European Philosophy of Science Association
Kolarac People's University Building, Belgrado
21 / 09 / 2023

We begin by surveying existing conceptual and empirical challenges that stand in the way of establishing that humans have moral-domain-specific cognitive and conative adaptations [e.g., Machery & Mallon 2010, Stich 2018, Machery 2018, Levy & Levy 2020, Plakias 2022, and Heyes 2018, 2019, & forthcoming]. We then argue that holocultural moral psychology best supports the hypothesis that our moral domain is a function of our sociocultural development [e.g., Wright et al. 2013, Buchtel et al. 2015, and Levine et al. 2022]. On this basis, we then develop an abductive argument in support of the metanormative thesis that the properties that may characterize specifically moral normativity [e.g., “queer” properties, sensu Mackie 1977] are mind-dependent rather than entities that exist robustly, in the relevant metaphysical sense of “mind-independence” [Shafer-Landau 2003]. This agrees with Tiffany’s [2007] “deflationism” and Eklund’s [2017] “presentationalism” [vide Copp & Morton 2022].

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