Indeterminism, explanation, and luck

Journal of Ethics 4 (3):211-235 (2000)
Abstract
I first adumbrate pertinent aspectsof Robert Kane''s libertarian theory of free choice oraction and an objection of luck that has been levelledagainst the theory. I then consider Kane''s recentresponses to this objection. To meet these responses,I argue that the view that undetermined choices (ofthe sort implied by Kane''s theory) are a matter ofluck is associated with a view about actionexplanation, to wit: when Jones does A and hisdoing of A is undetermined, and when hiscounterpart, Jones*, in the nearest possibleworld in which the past and the laws are held constantuntil the moment of choice does B instead, thereis no explanation (deterministic or indeterministic)of the difference in outcome – Jones''s A-ing butJones*''s B-ing – in terms of prior reasonsor motives of either agent. Absence of such anexplanation is one crucial factor that underliesthe charge that Jones''s A-ing and Jones*''sB-ing are matters of luck. I argue that thissort of luck is incompatible with responsibility.
Keywords Compatibilism  Ethics  Free Will  Indeterminism  Luck  Responsibility
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Citations of this work BETA
Seth Shabo (2011). Why Free Will Remains a Mystery. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
Jennifer Lackey (2008). What Luck is Not. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):255 – 267.
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