© 2016

Rightness as Fairness

A Moral and Political Theory


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 1-8
  3. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 9-41
  4. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 42-74
  5. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 75-115
  6. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 116-139
  7. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 140-152
  8. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 153-201
  9. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 202-217
  10. Marcus Arvan
    Pages 218-229
  11. Marcus Arvan
    Pages E1-E1
  12. Back Matter
    Pages 230-271

About this book


Moral philosophy today is marked by profound, systematic disagreement. In Rightness as Fairness, Marcus Arvan argues that the field of moral philosophy must adapt scientific principles in order to move closer to discovering moral truth. Arvan argues that our best empirical evidence and natural observation reveal morality to be a type of prudence requiring us to act in ways that our present and future selves can rationally agree upon across time. Arvan shows that this agreement between our present and future selves - Rightness as Fairness - is fundamentally a matter of being fair to ourselves and to others, including animals. Further, the Four Principles of Fairness comprising this agreement reconcile several opposing moral and political frameworks, including libertarianism and egalitarianism. Rightness as Fairness provides a uniquely fruitful method of 'principled fair negotiation' for resolving applied moral and political issues that requires merging principled debate with real-world negotiation.


Morality prudence rationality politics fairness psychology categorical imperative Kant Communitarianism ethics John Rawls morality political theory

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.The University of TampaUSA

About the authors

Marcus Arvan is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Tampa, US. He works primarily in ethics and social-political philosophy, as well as metaphysics and philosophy of science. His work has appeared in various journals including Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, Philosophical Psychology, and The Philosophical Forum.

Bibliographic information


“Marcus Arvan’s Rightness as Fairness: A Moral and Political Theory is a recent work in normative ethics that makes an interesting and worthwhile contribution to the field … . It is written in an analytical style, its position is clear and its arguments are structured and expressed well throughout the text. … I would especially recommend it to readers interested in normative ethics and instrumentalism.” (Liam Moore, Res Publica, Vol. 23, 2017)