David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Review of Philosophy and Psychology 1 (3):333-349 (2010)
Moral judgments, we expect, ought not to depend on luck. A person should be blamed only for actions and outcomes that were under the person’s control. Yet often, moral judgments appear to be influenced by luck. A father who leaves his child by the bath, after telling his child to stay put and believing that he will stay put, is judged to be morally blameworthy if the child drowns (an unlucky outcome), but not if his child stays put and doesn’t drown. Previous theories of moral luck suggest that this asymmetry reflects primarily the influence of unlucky outcomes on moral judgments. In the current study, we use behavioral methods and fMRI to test an alternative: these moral judgments largely reflect participants’ judgments of the agent’s beliefs. In “moral luck” scenarios, the unlucky agent also holds a false belief. Here, we show that moral luck depends more on false beliefs than bad outcomes. We also show that participants with false beliefs are judged as having less justified beliefs and are therefore judged as more morally blameworthy. The current study lends support to a rationalist account of moral luck: moral luck asymmetries are driven not by outcome bias primarily, but by mental state assessments we endorse as morally relevant, i.e. whether agents are justified in thinking that they won’t cause harm.
|Keywords||Philosophy Philosophy of Science Developmental Psychology Epistemology Neurosciences Cognitive Psychology Philosophy of Mind|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
James R. Beebe & Wesley Buckwalter (2010). The Epistemic Side-Effect Effect. Mind and Language 25 (4):474-498.
Fiery Cushman (2008). Crime and Punishment: Distinguishing the Roles of Causal and Intentional Analyses in Moral Judgment. Cognition 108 (2):353-380.
Keith DeRose (1992). Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (4):913-929.
P. C. Fletcher, F. Happé, U. Frith, S. C. Baker, R. J. Dolan, R. S. Frackowiak & C. D. Frith (1995). Other Minds in the Brain: A Functional Imaging Study of "Theory of Mind" in Story Comprehension. Cognition 57 (2):109-128.
Jonathan Haidt (2001). The Emotional Dog and Its Rational Tail. Psychological Review 108 (4):Psychological Review.
Citations of this work BETA
David Rose & David Danks (2013). In Defense of a Broad Conception of Experimental Philosophy. Metaphilosophy 44 (4):512-532.
Eric Schwitzgebel & Fiery Cushman (2012). Expertise in Moral Reasoning? Order Effects on Moral Judgment in Professional Philosophers and Non-Philosophers. Mind and Language 27 (2):135-153.
Liane Young & Jonathan Phillips (2011). The Paradox of Moral Focus. Cognition 119 (2):166-178.
Similar books and articles
Andrew Latus (2000). Moral and Epistemic Luck. Journal of Philosophical Research 25:149-172.
Duncan Pritchard (2007). Duncan Pritchard, Epistemic Luck. Theoria 73 (2):173-178.
David Enoch (2010). Moral Luck and the Law. Philosophy Compass 5 (1):42-54.
Duncan Pritchard (2006). Moral and Epistemic Luck. Metaphilosophy 37 (1):1–25.
David Enoch (2010). Cognitive Biases and Moral Luck. Journal of Moral Philosophy 7 (3):372-386.
Dana K. Nelkin (forthcoming). Moral Luck. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Carolyn McLeod & Julie Ponesse (2008). Infertility and Moral Luck: The Politics of Women Blaming Themselves for Infertility. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 1 (1):126 - 144.
Mark Silcox (2006). Virtue Epistemology and Moral Luck. Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):179--192.
Chengping Zhang (2010). Moral Luck in Thomas Hardy's Fiction. Philosophy and Literature 34 (1):pp. 82-94.
Christopher Michaelson (2008). Moral Luck and Business Ethics. Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):773 - 787.
Added to index2010-03-27
Total downloads68 ( #33,289 of 1,700,241 )
Recent downloads (6 months)10 ( #62,577 of 1,700,241 )
How can I increase my downloads?