Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution, edited by Michael Bergmann and Patrick Kain

Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution, edited by Michael Bergmann... Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. x + 298. isbn 978-0-19-966977-6.Bergmann and Kain hope to “offer a taste” (p. 2) of the rich relevance, to their topics, of cross-disciplinary investigation. In a review as brief as this one must be, I can offer no more than a taste of what is offered to the investigation of skepticism by this well-conceived and stimulating book.Part i focuses on moral and religious disagreement. In “Moral Disagreement among Philosophers,” Ralph Wedgwood argues, in effect, that a patient sentimentalist can defend moral realism against the problem of his title. Human emotional dispositions have not evolved to deal with unusual moral cases. And the search for reflective equilibrium is very challenging and may not be finished anytime soon. Evolution is here seen as helping the moral realist. It might help even more if we thought in terms of evolutionary timescales, which strongly favor Wedgwood’s recommendation of patience.Surveying a wide range of empirical evidence, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, in “Moral Disagreements with Psychopaths,” argues that there is considerable reason to think that the psychopath really disagrees with us about rape and murder and cannot be shown to be irrational in doing so, and that attempts on our part http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png International Journal for the Study of Skepticism Brill

Challenges to Moral and Religious Belief: Disagreement and Evolution, edited by Michael Bergmann and Patrick Kain

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
Copyright © Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
2210-5697
eISSN
2210-5700
DOI
10.1163/22105700-05031225
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. Pp. x + 298. isbn 978-0-19-966977-6.Bergmann and Kain hope to “offer a taste” (p. 2) of the rich relevance, to their topics, of cross-disciplinary investigation. In a review as brief as this one must be, I can offer no more than a taste of what is offered to the investigation of skepticism by this well-conceived and stimulating book.Part i focuses on moral and religious disagreement. In “Moral Disagreement among Philosophers,” Ralph Wedgwood argues, in effect, that a patient sentimentalist can defend moral realism against the problem of his title. Human emotional dispositions have not evolved to deal with unusual moral cases. And the search for reflective equilibrium is very challenging and may not be finished anytime soon. Evolution is here seen as helping the moral realist. It might help even more if we thought in terms of evolutionary timescales, which strongly favor Wedgwood’s recommendation of patience.Surveying a wide range of empirical evidence, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong, in “Moral Disagreements with Psychopaths,” argues that there is considerable reason to think that the psychopath really disagrees with us about rape and murder and cannot be shown to be irrational in doing so, and that attempts on our part

Journal

International Journal for the Study of SkepticismBrill

Published: Apr 17, 2017

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