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Abstract

Debunking arguments are an important species of undermining argument, in which facts about the origins of a judgement are used to explain away that judgement. There is a long history of debunking arguments in the domains of moral judgement and religious belief, from the early Christian fathers to Sigmund Freud and beyond. Debunking arguments work by offering a truth-mooting genealogy of the judgement in question, where the truth of the judgement doesn’t play a role in generating the judgement, nor does the genealogy probabilify the judgement. Since debunking arguments work against judgements, we can only use them in the domains of morality and religion if we assume cognitivism for those domains. There may be, however, analogous dialectic moves if we instead assume non-cognitivism.