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Rightness as Fairness

In Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory. New York: Palgrave MacMillan. pp. 153-201 (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 - 2023 - AI and Society 38 (6):2577-2596.
    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. Synthese Library. 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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  • The Dark Side of Morality: Group Polarization and Moral Epistemology.Marcus Arvan - 2019 - Philosophical Forum 50 (1):87-115.
    This article argues that philosophers and laypeople commonly conceptualize moral truths or justified moral beliefs as discoverable through intuition, argument, or some other purely cognitive or affective process. It then contends that three empirically well-supported theories all predict that this ‘Discovery Model’ of morality plays a substantial role in causing social polarization. The same three theories are then used to argue that an alternative ‘Negotiation Model’ of morality—according to which moral truths are not discovered but instead created by actively negotiating (...)
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  • Ethical Theories and Controversial Intuitions.Rach Cosker-Rowland - 2023 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 31 (3):318-345.
    We have controversial intuitions about the rightness of retributive punishment, keeping promises for its own sake, and pushing the heavy man off of the bridge in the footbridge trolley case. How do these intuitions relate to ethical theories? Should ethical theories aim to fit with and explain them? Or are only uncontroversial intuitions relevant to explanatory ethical theorising? I argue against several views that we might hold about the relationship between controversial intuitions and ethical theories. I then propose and defend (...)
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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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