Luck and interests

Synthese 185 (3):319-334 (2012)
Abstract
Recent work on the nature of luck widely endorses the thesis that an event is good or bad luck for an individual only if it is significant for that individual. In this paper, I explore this thesis, showing that it raises questions about interests, well-being, and the philosophical uses of luck. In Sect. 1, I examine several accounts of significance, due to Pritchard (2005), Coffman (2007), and Rescher (1995). Then in Sect. 2 I consider what some theorists want to ‘do’ with luck, taking important examples from epistemology (explaining Gettier-style examples) and political philosophy (offering a rationale for the just distribution of resources in society), while suggesting implications for significance. Drawing together lessons from Sects. 1 and 2, I develop a new account of significance in Sect. 3 before concluding with reflections on the debate in Sect. 4.
Keywords Luck  Epistemic luck  Luck egalitarianism
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References found in this work BETA
E. J. Coffman (2009). Does Luck Exclude Control? Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):499-504.
E. J. Coffman (2007). Thinking About Luck. Synthese 158 (3):385 - 398.
Mylan Engel (1992). Is Epistemic Luck Compatible with Knowledge? Southern Journal of Philosophy 30 (2):59-75.
Jeremy Fantl & Matthew Mcgrath (2007). On Pragmatic Encroachment in Epistemology. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 75 (3):558–589.

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