Date of Award

8-7-2018

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Philosophy

First Advisor

Eddy Nahmias

Second Advisor

Andrew Altman

Third Advisor

Jessica Berry

Abstract

Sharon Street’s evolutionary debunking argument—her Darwinian Dilemma—is meant to challenge value realists to reconcile the evaluative attitudes we tend to hold, shaped as they are by evolution, with the attitude-independent evaluative facts that realists posit. Ramon Das argues that Street’s argument relies on illicit metaphysical assumptions about evaluative facts, and that these assumptions beg the question against a particular form of value realism called naturalist realism. I argue that Street makes no such metaphysical assumptions, and that her argument requires no particular metaphysical construal of evaluative facts to work. I further argue that any objection of the kind Das raises—those that turn on the metaphysical underpinnings of evaluative facts—is unlikely to succeed against Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.

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