Matthew Scarfone

scarfoneI am currently a PhD student in philosophy at McGill University (since 2013). I also hold degrees from Carleton University (MA Philosophy) and Acadia University (BA Honours Philosophy).

My primary philosophical interests are in metaethics, broadly, and debates concerning realism/anti-realism, more specifically. I am interested in the scope of evolutionary debunking arguments. It is sometimes thought that if the scope of these arguments is too broad then it may in fact debunk too much, giving us recourse to reject the initial arguments. Because of this worry I aim to carve out the precise scope of the debunking claims.

Relatedly, I am interested in companion in guilt arguments that aim to bridge morality and epistemology into an overarching normative domain. It is often thought that the attempt to bridge these two domains supports realism about both. However, I pursue two alternatives: first, that there are important and relevant differences between epistemic facts and moral facts that have been overlooked by those offering such arguments – and if so, we may be able to debunk one domain while leaving the other unaffected; and second, if the supposed analogs between the two domains are in fact legitimate, then perhaps all normativity might be suspect.

At stake, then, is whether the debunking arguments that may hold for morality also undercut other normative domains as well. I suspect that some relevant distinction must be found that saves some normative domains while allowing us to dispense with others. My aim to discover what distinctions, if any, can lead to this conclusion.