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Profile: Marcus Arvan (University of Tampa)
  1. Marcus Arvan (forthcoming). First Steps Toward a Nonideal Theory of Justice. Ethics and Global Politics.
    Theorists have long debated whether John Rawls’ conception of justice as fairness can be extended to nonideal (i.e. unjust) social and political conditions, and if so, what the proper way of extending it is. This paper argues that in order to properly extend justice as fairness to nonideal conditions, Rawls’ most famous innovation – the original position – must be reconceived in the form of a “nonideal original position.” I begin by providing a new analysis of the ideal/nonideal theory distinction (...)
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  2. Marcus Arvan (2014). A Better, Dual Theory of Human Rights. Philosophical Forum 45 (1):17-47.
    Human rights theory and practice have long been stuck in a rut. Although disagreement is the norm in philosophy and social-political practice, the sheer depth and breadth of disagreement about human rights is truly unusual. Human rights theorists and practitioners disagree – wildly in many cases – over just about every issue: what human rights are, what they are for, how many of them there are, how they are justified, what human interests or capacities they are supposed to protect, what (...)
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  3. Katy Abramson, Elizabeth S. Anderson, Erik A. Anderson, Chris Armstrong, Barbara Arneil, Richard Arneson, Gustaf Arrhenius, Marcus Arvan, Elizabeth Ashford & Michael Bacon (2013). Recognition of Reviewers. Journal of Social Philosophy 44 (4):309-312.
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  4. Marcus Arvan (2013). “A Lot More Bad News for Conservatives, and a Little Bit of Bad News for Liberals? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Follow-Up Study”. Neuroethics 6 (1):51-64.
    In a recent study appearing in Neuroethics, I reported observing 11 significant correlations between the “Dark Triad” personality traits – Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy – and “conservative” judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey. Surprisingly, I observed no significant correlations between the Dark Triad and “liberal” judgments. In order to determine whether these results were an artifact of the particular issues I selected, I ran a follow-up study testing the Dark Triad against conservative and liberal judgments on 15 additional moral (...)
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  5. Marcus Arvan (2013). A New Theory of Free Will. Philosophical Forum 44 (1):1-48.
    This paper shows that several live philosophical and scientific hypotheses – including the holographic principle and multiverse theory in quantum physics, and eternalism and mind-body dualism in philosophy – jointly imply an audacious new theory of free will. This new theory, "Libertarian Compatibilism", holds that the physical world is an eternally existing array of two-dimensional information – a vast number of possible pasts, presents, and futures – and the mind a nonphysical entity or set of properties that "read" that physical (...)
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  6. Marcus Arvan (2013). Bad News for Conservatives? Moral Judgments and the Dark Triad Personality Traits: A Correlational Study. Neuroethics 6 (2):307-318.
    This study examined correlations between moral value judgments on a 17-item Moral Intuition Survey (MIS), and participant scores on the Short-D3 “Dark Triad” Personality Inventory—a measure of three related “dark and socially destructive” personality traits: Machiavellianism, Narcissism, and Psychopathy. Five hundred sixty-seven participants (302 male, 257 female, 2 transgendered; median age 28) were recruited online through Amazon Mechanical Turk and Yale Experiment Month web advertisements. Different responses to MIS items were initially hypothesized to be “conservative” or “liberal” in line with (...)
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  7. Marcus Arvan (2013). Groundwork for a New Moral Epistemology. Klesis 27:155-190.
    This paper argues that virtue ethics and prevailing epistemic norms in moral and political philosophy more generally both support a new kind of empirically-informed moral-virtue epistemology, or “experimental ethics” – an epistemology according to which disputed normative premises in moral and political philosophy should be epistemically evaluated on the basis of empirically-observed relationships they bear to morally admirable and morally repugnant psycho-behavioral traits, as defined by cross-cultural, cross-historical, and cross-debate agreement on the moral valence of particular traits and behaviors.
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  8. Lucy Allais, Anita Allen, Andrew Altman, Elizabeth S. Anderson, Erik A. Anderson, David Archard, Faith Armitage, Barbara Arneil, Gustaf Arrhenius & Marcus Arvan (2012). Recognition of Reviewers. Journal of Social Philosophy 43 (4):363-366.
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  9. Marcus Arvan (2012). Human Rights, 2nd Edition. Teaching Philosophy 35 (1):83-86.
  10. Marcus Arvan (2012). Reconceptualizing Human Rights. Journal of Global Ethics 8 (1):91-105.
    This paper defends several highly revisionary theses about human rights. Section 1 shows that the phrase ?human rights? refers to two distinct types of moral claims. Sections 2 and 3 argue that several longstanding problems in human rights theory and practice can be solved if, and only if, the concept of a ?human right? is replaced by two more exact concepts: International human rights: moral claims sufficient to warrant coercive domestic and international social protection. Domestic human rights: moral claims sufficient (...)
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  11. Marcus Arvan (2012). Unifying the Categorical Imperative. Southwest Philosophy Review 28 (1):217-225.
    This paper demonstrates something that Kant notoriously claimed to be possible, but which Kant scholars today widely believe to be impossible: unification of all three formulations of the Categorical Imperative. Part 1 of this paper tells a broad-brush story of how I understand Kant’s theory of practical reason and morality, showing how the three formulations of the Categorical Imperative appear to me to be unified. Part 2 then provides clear textual support for each premise in the argument for my interpretation.
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  12. Anita Allen, Elizabeth S. Anderson, Erik A. Anderson, David Archard, Marcus Arvan, Linda Barclay, Marcia Baron, Daniel Bar-Tal, Debra Bergoffen & Alyssa Bernstein (2011). Recognition of Reviewers. Journal of Social Philosophy 42 (4):341-345.
  13. Marcus Arvan (2011). People Do Not Have a Duty to Avoid Voting Badly: Reply to Brennan. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Jason Brennan argues that people are morally obligated not to vote badly, where voting badly is voting “without sufficient reason” for harmful or unjust policies or candidates. His argument is: (1) One has an obligation not to engage in collectively harmful activities when refraining from such activities does not impose significant personal costs. (2) Voting badly is to engage in a collectively harmful activity, while abstaining imposes low personal costs. (3) Therefore, one should not vote badly. This paper shows that (...)
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  14. Anita Allen, Andrew Altman, Erik A. Anderson, David Archard, Faith Armitage, Gustaf Arrhenius, Marcus Arvan, Michael Bacon, Daniel Bar-Tal & Paul Benson (2010). Recognition of Reviewers. Journal of Social Philosophy 41 (4):399-402.
  15. Marcus Arvan (2009). In Defense of Discretionary Association Theories of Political Legitimacy: Reply to Buchanan. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy.
    Allen Buchanan has argued that a widely defended view of the nature of the state – the view that the state is a discretionary association for the mutual advantage of its members – must be rejected because it cannot adequately account for moral requirements of humanitarian intervention. This paper argues that Buchanan’s objection is unsuccessful,and moreover, that discretionary association theories can preserve an important distinction that Buchanan’s alternative approach to political legitimacy cannot: the distinction between “internal” legitimacy (a state’s ability (...)
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  16. Marcus Arvan (2008). A Nonideal Theory of Justice. Dissertation, University of Arizona
    This dissertation defends a “non-ideal theory” of justice: a systematic theory of how to respond justly to injustice. Chapter 1 argues that contemporary political philosophy lacks a non-ideal theory of justice, and defends a variation of John Rawls’ famous original position – the Non-Ideal Original Position – as a method with which to construct such a theory. Finally, Chapter 1 uses the Non-Ideal Original Position to argue for a Fundamental Principle of Non-Ideal Theory: a principle that requires injustices to be (...)
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  17. Marcus Arvan (1998). Out with Qualia and in with Consciousness: Why the Hard Problem is a Myth. Dissertation, Tufts Honours Thesis
    The subjective features of conscious mental processes--as opposed to their physical causes and effects--cannot be captured by the purified form of thought suitable for dealing with the physical world that underlies appearances." (Nagel, in Dennett, 1991, p. 372).
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