Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory

2017.01.24 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Marcus Arvan, Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 271pp., $100.00 (hbk), ISBN
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2017.01.24 : View this Review Online | View Recent NDPR Reviews Marcus Arvan, Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory, Palgrave Macmillan, 2016, 271pp., $100.00 (hbk), ISBN 9781137541802. Reviewed by  Richard Dees, University of Rochester Marcus Arvan sets an ambitious project for himself. Using constraints on theory construction modeled on the sciences, he formulates a new moral theory that is supposed to solve all the controversial issues that have always surrounded ethics. Leaning heavily on the claim that theories must have "Firm Foundations" -- i.e. that they must be "based on common human observation -- or observations that are taken to be obvious, incontrovertible fact by all or almost all observers" (15-16), Arvan claims that only instrumentalism qualifies as a possible theory of normativity. Only means-end rationality, he argues, is accepted by everyone as obviously true. Such a position leads either to some form of egoism or to an attempt to derive. . .

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News source: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews // News

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