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Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory

Palgrave MacMillan (2016)

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  1. The Normative Stance.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - Philosophical Forum 52 (1):79-89.
    The Duhem-Quine thesis famously holds that a single hypothesis cannot be confirmed or disconfirmed in isolation, but instead only in conjunction with other background hypotheses. This article argues that this has important and underappreciated implications for metaethics. Section 1 argues that if one begins metaethics firmly wedded to a naturalistic worldview—due (e.g.) to methodological/epistemic considerations—then normativity will appear to be reducible to a set of social-psycho-semantic behaviors that I call the ‘normative stance.’ Contra Hume and Bedke (2012), I argue that (...)
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  • Mental Time-Travel, Semantic Flexibility, and A.I. Ethics.Marcus Arvan - forthcoming - AI and Society:1-20.
    This article argues that existing approaches to programming ethical AI fail to resolve a serious moral-semantic trilemma, generating interpretations of ethical requirements that are either too semantically strict, too semantically flexible, or overly unpredictable. This paper then illustrates the trilemma utilizing a recently proposed ‘general ethical dilemma analyzer,’ GenEth. Finally, it uses empirical evidence to argue that human beings resolve the semantic trilemma using general cognitive and motivational processes involving ‘mental time-travel,’ whereby we simulate different possible pasts and futures. I (...)
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  • Morality as an Evolutionary Exaptation.Marcus Arvan - 2021 - In Johan De Smedt & Helen De Cruz (eds.), Empirically Engaged Evolutionary Ethics. Springer - Synthese Library. pp. 89-109.
    The dominant theory of the evolution of moral cognition across a variety of fields is that moral cognition is a biological adaptation to foster social cooperation. This chapter argues, to the contrary, that moral cognition is likely an evolutionary exaptation: a form of cognition where neurobiological capacities selected for in our evolutionary history for a variety of different reasons—many unrelated to social cooperation—were put to a new, prosocial use after the fact through individual rationality, learning, and the development and transmission (...)
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  • A Critical Review of Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory.Liam Moore - 2017 - Res Publica 23 (4):523-529.
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  • Nonideal Justice as Nonideal Fairness.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 5 (2):208-228.
    This article argues that diverse theorists have reasons to theorize about fairness in nonideal conditions, including theorists who reject fairness in ideal theory. It then develops a new all-purpose model of ‘nonideal fairness.’ §1 argues that fairness is central to nonideal theory across diverse ideological and methodological frameworks. §2 then argues that ‘nonideal fairness’ is best modeled by a nonideal original position adaptable to different nonideal conditions and background normative frameworks (including anti-Rawlsian ones). §3 then argues that the parties to (...)
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