Moral Luck

Edited by Nick Smyth (Fordham University, Fordham University)
About this topic
Summary Moral luck occurs when the features of action which generate a particular moral assessment lie significantly beyond the control of the agent who is so assessed.  It is very difficult to deny that we seem to assess persons for things that they do not control: we punish the successful murderer more harshly than the person who unsuccessfully attempts the act. The problem appears more and more formidable as we consider the myriad of ways in which the results of our actions lie beyond our control.
Key works In Williams & Nagel 1976, Thomas Nagel and Bernard Williams initiated the modern discussion of moral luck.  They differed in their aims: Nagel thought that the phenomenon provided an important clue to the nature of the "objective" and "subjective" perspectives we can take on our own agency, whereas Williams thought that moral luck was a kind of "oxymoron" which showed that the institution of morality fails to be all that it aims to be.   Kant's Groundwork For the Metaphysics of Morals (Kant 2011) remains the classic attempt to "purify" moral judgment, locating it solely in the character of an agent's intentions and (apparently) divorcing such judgment from the contingent effects of our actions.  Daniel Statman's Moral Luck is a well-known collection of essays which deal with the problem.  See also Andre 1983 and Jensen 1984.
Introductions Dana Nelkin's Moral Luck provides an excellent review of the issue and of the literature that has arisen in response to the problems.
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  1. On Luck, the Attribute.Paul Bali - manuscript
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  2. Stoic Lessons in Liberation: Epictetus as Educator.William O. Stephens - manuscript
    My project examines the pedagogical approach of the Stoic Epictetus by focusing on seven vital lessons he imparts. This study will deepen our understanding of his vocation as a Stoic educator striving to free his students from the fears and foolishness that hold happiness hostage. These lessons are (1) how freedom, integrity, self-respect, and happiness interrelate; (2) real versus fake tragedy and real versus fake heroism; (3) the instructive roles that various animals play in Stoic education; (4) athleticism, sport, and (...)
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  3. Falibilidad y Normatividad.Axel Arturo Barceló Aspeitia (ed.) - forthcoming - Madrid, España: Cátedra.
    La falibilidad es una condición ubicua de nuestras empresas, la cual emana del hecho de que, comúnmente, las cosas que más nos interesan, como el descubrir la verdad, referirnos a cosas que de hecho existen, evitar dañar a los otros, etc., escapan nuestro alcance y, sin embargo, no dejamos de hacer grandes esfuerzos para conseguirlas. Es posible que hagamos todo lo que está en nuestras manos para actuar de manera cuidadosa y responsable y aun así nuestros actos tengan consecuencias negativas; (...)
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  4. Free Will and Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - forthcoming - In Joseph Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.), A Companion to Free Will.
    Philosophers often consider problems of free will and moral luck in isolation from one another, but both are about control and moral responsibility. One problem of free will concerns the difficult task of specifying the kind of control over our actions that is necessary and sufficient to act freely. One problem of moral luck refers to the puzzling task of explaining whether and how people can be morally responsible for actions permeated by factors beyond their control. This chapter explicates and (...)
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  5. Legal Luck.Ori Herstein - forthcoming - In Rutledge Companion to the Philosophy of Luck. Rutledge.
    Explaining the notion of legal luck and exploring its justification. Focusing on how legal luck relates to moral luck, legal causation and negligence, and to civil and criminal liability.
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  6. Moral Luck and Responsible Innovation Management.Jan F. Jacko - forthcoming - Journal of Responsible Innovation.
    The study discusses the three roles of normative assumption in the theory and practice of innovation management: (1) they define the value of innovation, (2) specify its luck, and (3) determine some goals and methodologies of managing the luck of innovations. The crucial questions of the investigation are as follows: What does ‘luck’ mean in theories of innovation management?, and What is luck in the practice of innovation management? The conceptual analyses present logical links which occur between the normative premises (...)
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  7. Kant’s Philosophy of Moral Luck.Samuel Kahn - forthcoming - Sophia:1-23.
    In the modern moral luck debate, Kant is standardly taken to be the enemy of moral luck. My goal in this paper is to show that this is mistaken. The paper is divided into six sections. In the first, I show that participants in the moral luck literature take moral luck to be anathema to Kantian ethics. In the second, I explain the kind of luck I am going to focus on here: consequence luck, a species of resultant luck. In (...)
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  8. Externalism Explained.Clayton Littlejohn - forthcoming - In Luis R. G. Oliveira (ed.), Externalism about Knowledge. Oxford University Press.
    This is a defence of externalism about knowledge and also about justification. In this paper, I argue that an important virtue of externalism about these notions is that externalism about justification helps to explain the value of (i.e., importance of) knowledge. I also develop and expand upon some of my earlier arguments for externalism that drew upon what's now known as 'morally loaded cases'. The virtue of externalism is that it's the only view that can both allow for certain kinds (...)
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  9. Modal Insurance: Probabilities, Risk, and Degrees of Luck.Evan Malone - forthcoming - Southwest Philosophical Studies.
    Many widely divergent accounts of luck have been offered or employed in discussing an equally wide range of philosophical topics. We should, then, expect to find some unified philosophical conception of luck of which moral luck, epistemic luck, and luck egalitarianism are species. One of the attempts to provide such an account is that offered by Duncan Pritchard, which he refers to as the modal account. This view commits us to calling an event lucky when it obtains in this world, (...)
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  10. Moral Luck.Dana K. Nelkin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  11. Relation-Regret and Associative Luck.Daniel Telech - forthcoming - In Andras Szigeti & Talbert Matthew (eds.), Agency, Fate and Luck: Themes from Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press.
    I argue that the phenomenon underlying Bernard Williams’ (1976) “agent-regret” is considerably broader than appreciated by Williams and others. Agent-regret— an anguished response that agents have for harms they have caused, even if faultlessly— I maintain, is a species of a more general response to harms that need not be one’s fault, but which nonetheless impact one’s practical identity in a special way. This broader genus includes as a species what I call “relation-regret”, a pained response to harm caused by (...)
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  12. Blame Transfer.Jan Willem Wieland & Philip Robichaud - forthcoming - In Philip Robichaud & Jan Willem Wieland (eds.), Responsibility - The Epistemic Condition. Oxford University Press.
    Many philosophers accept derivative blameworthiness for ignorant conduct – the idea that the blameworthiness for one’s ignorance can ‘transfer’ to blameworthiness for one’s subsequent ignorant conduct. In this chapter we ask the question what it actually means that blameworthiness would transfer, and explore four distinct views and their merits. On views (I) and (II), one’s overall degree of blameworthiness is determined by factors relevant to one’s ignorance and/or one’s subsequent conduct, and transfer only involves an increase in scope. On views (...)
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  13. Conceptual Responsibility.Trystan S. Goetze - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 64 (1-2):20-45.
    Conceptual engineering is concerned with the improvement of our concepts. The motivating thought behind many such projects is that some of our concepts are defective. But, if to use a defective concept is to do something wrong, and if to do something wrong one must be in control of what one is doing, there might be no defective concepts, since we typically are not in control of our concept use. To address this problem, this paper turns from appraising the concepts (...)
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  14. Concomitant Ignorance Excuses From Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2021 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 10 (1):58-65.
    Some philosophers contend that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility for wrongdoing. An agent is concomitantly ignorant with respect to wrongdoing if and only if her ignorance is non-culpable, but she would freely have performed the same action if she were not ignorant. I, however, argue that concomitant ignorance excuses. I show that leading accounts of moral responsibility imply that concomitant ignorance excuses, and I debunk the view that concomitant ignorance preserves moral responsibility.
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  15. Compensation and Moral Luck.Nora Heinzelmann - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):251-264.
    In some vicarious cases of compensation, an agent seems obligated to compensate for a harm they did not inflict. This raises the problem that obligations for compensation may arise out of circumstantial luck. That is, an agent may owe compensation for a harm that was outside their control. Addressing this issue, I identify five conditions for compensation from the literature: causal engagement, proxy, ill-gotten gains, constitution, and affiliation. I argue that only two of them specify genuine and irreducible grounds for (...)
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  16. Responsibility in Cases of Structural and Personal Complicity: A Phenomenological Analysis.Charlotte Knowles - 2021 - The Monist 104 (2):224-237.
    In cases of complicity in one’s own unfreedom and in structural injustice, it initially appears that agents are only vicariously responsible for their complicity because of the roles circumstantial and constitutive luck play in bringing about their complicity. By drawing on work from the phenomenological tradition, this paper rejects this conclusion and argues for a new responsive sense of agency and responsibility in cases of complicity. Highlighting the explanatory role of stubbornness in cases of complicity, it is argued that although (...)
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  17. Don’T Make a Fetish of Faults: A Vindication of Moral Luck.Stefan Riedener - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (3):693-711.
    Is it appropriate to blame people unequally if the only difference between them was a matter of luck? Suppose Alice would drive recklessly if she could, Belen drove recklessly but didn’t harm anyone, and Cleo drove recklessly and killed a child. Luck-advocates emphasize that in real life we do blame such agents very unequally. Luck-skeptics counter that people aren’t responsible for factors beyond their control, or beyond their quality of will. I’ll defend a somewhat reconciliatory view. I’ll concede to the (...)
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  18. Moral Luck in Team‐Based Health Care.Daniel Story & Catelynn Kenner - 2021 - Nursing Philosophy 22 (1).
    Clinicians regularly work as teams and perform joint actions that have a great deal of moral significance. As a result, clinicians regularly share moral responsibility for the actions of their teams and other clinicians. In this paper, we argue that clinicians are exceptionally susceptible to a special type of moral luck, called interpersonal moral luck, because their moral statuses are often affected by the actions of other clinicians in a way that is not fully within their control. We then argue (...)
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  19. Manipulation and constitutive luck.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (8):2381-2394.
    I argue that considerations pertaining to constitutive luck undermine historicism—the view that an agent’s history can determine whether or not she is morally responsible. The main way that historicists have motivated their view is by appealing to certain cases of manipulation. I argue, however, that since agents can be morally responsible for performing some actions from characters with respect to which they are entirely constitutively lucky, and since there is no relevant difference between these agents and agents who have been (...)
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  20. Chance, Merit, and Economic Inequality: Rethinking Distributive Justice and the Principle of Desert.Joseph de la Torre Dwyer - 2020 - Springer Verlag.
    This book develops a novel approach to distributive justice by building a theory based on a concept of desert. As a work of applied political theory, it presents a simple but powerful theoretical argument and a detailed proposal to eliminate unmerited inequality, poverty, and economic immobility, speaking to the underlying moral principles of both progressives who already support egalitarian measures and also conservatives who have previously rejected egalitarianism on the grounds of individual freedom, personal responsibility, hard work, or economic efficiency. (...)
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  21. The Myth of Luck: Philosophy, Fate, and Fortune.Steven Hales - 2020 - London: Bloomsbury Academic.
    Humanity has thrown everything we have at implacable luck—novel theologies, entire philosophical movements, fresh branches of mathematics—and yet we seem to have gained only the smallest edge on the power of fortune. The Myth of Luck tells us why we have been fighting an unconquerable foe. Taking us on a guided tour of one of our oldest concepts, we begin in ancient Greece and Rome, considering how Plato, Plutarch, and the Stoics understood luck, before entering the theoretical world of probability (...)
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  22. Indirectly Free Actions, Libertarianism, and Resultant Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (6):1417-1436.
    Martin Luther affirms his theological position by saying “Here I stand. I can do no other.” Supposing that Luther’s claim is true, he lacks alternative possibilities at the moment of choice. Even so, many libertarians have the intuition that he is morally responsible for his action. One way to make sense of this intuition is to assert that Luther’s action is indirectly free, because his action inherits its freedom and moral responsibility from earlier actions when he had alternative possibilities and (...)
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  23. Against the Character Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2020 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 98 (1):105-118.
    One way to frame the problem of moral luck is as a contradiction in our ordinary ideas about moral responsibility. In the case of two identical reckless drivers where one kills a pedestrian and the other does not, we tend to intuit that they are and are not equally blameworthy. The Character Response sorts these intuitions in part by providing an account of moral responsibility: the drivers must be equally blameworthy, because they have identical character traits and people are originally (...)
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  24. BCI-Mediated Behavior, Moral Luck, and Punishment.Daniel J. Miller - 2020 - American Journal of Bioethics Neuroscience 11 (1):72-74.
    An ongoing debate in the philosophy of action concerns the prevalence of moral luck: instances in which an agent’s moral responsibility is due, at least in part, to factors beyond his control. I point to a unique problem of moral luck for agents who depend upon Brain Computer Interfaces (BCIs) for bodily movement. BCIs may misrecognize a voluntarily formed distal intention (e.g., a plan to commit some illicit act in the future) as a control command to perform some overt behavior (...)
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  25. Salvific Luck in Islamic Theology.Amir Saemi & Scott A. Davison - 2020 - Journal of Analytic Theology 8 (1):120-130.
    One of the major arguments for theological voluntarism offered by the Ash’arites involves the claim that that some of the factors upon which our salvation or condemnation depend are beyond our control. We will call this “the problem of salvific luck.” According to the Ash’arites, the fact that God does save and condemn human beings on the basis of factors beyond their control casts doubt on any non-voluntarist conception of divine justice. A common way to respond to this Ash’arite argument (...)
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  26. Does Luck Exclude Knowledge or Certainty?Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (6):2387-2397.
    A popular account of luck, with a firm basis in common sense, holds that a necessary condition for an event to be lucky, is that it was suitably improbable. It has recently been proposed that this improbability condition is best understood in epistemic terms. Two different versions of this proposal have been advanced. According to my own proposal :361–377, 2010), whether an event is lucky for some agent depends on whether the agent was in a position to know that the (...)
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  27. Guilt Without Perceived Wrongdoing.Michael Zhao - 2020 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 48 (3):285-314.
    According to the received account of guilt in the philosophical literature, one cannot feel guilt unless one takes oneself to have done something morally wrong. But ordinary people feel guilt in many cases in which they do not take themselves to have done anything morally wrong. In this paper, I focus on one kind of guilt without perceived wrongdoing, guilt about being merely causally responsible for a bad state-of-affairs. I go on to present a novel account of guilt that explains (...)
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  28. Is the Folk Concept of Luck Normative?Mario Attie-Picker - 2019 - Synthese (2):1-35.
    Contemporary accounts of luck, though differing in pretty much everything, all agree that the concept of luck is descriptive as opposed to normative. This widespread agreement forms part of the framework in which debates in ethics and epistemology, where the concept of luck plays a central role, are carried out. The hypothesis put forward in the present paper is that luck attributions are sensitive to normative considerations. I report five experiments suggesting that luck attributions are influenced by the normative features (...)
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  29. Falibilidad y normatividad.Axel Barceló - 2019 - Madrid: Cátedra.
    La falibilidad es una condición ubicua de nuestras empresas, la cual emana del hecho de que, comúnmente, las cosas que más nos interesan, como el descubrir la verdad, referirnos a cosas que de hecho existen, evitar dañar a los otros, etc., escapan nuestro alcance y, sin embargo, no dejamos de hacer grandes esfuerzos para conseguirlas. Es posible que hagamos todo lo que está en nuestras manos para actuar de manera cuidadosa y responsable y aun así nuestros actos tengan consecuencias negativas; (...)
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  30. Moral Luck and Deviant Causation.Sara Bernstein - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):151-161.
    This paper discusses a puzzling tension in attributions of moral responsibility in cases of resultant moral luck: we seem to hold agents fully morally responsible for unlucky outcomes, but less-than-fully-responsible for unlucky outcomes brought about differently than intended. This tension cannot be easily discharged or explained, but it does shed light on a famous puzzle about causation and responsibility, the Thirsty Traveler.
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  31. Luck as Risk.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. Routledge.
    The aim of this paper is to explore the hypothesis that luck is a risk-involving phenomenon. I start by explaining why this hypothesis is prima facie plausible in view of the parallelisms between luck and risk. I then distinguish three ways to spell it out: in probabilistic terms, in modal terms, and in terms of lack of control. Before evaluating the resulting accounts, I explain how the idea that luck involves risk is compatible with the fact that risk concerns unwanted (...)
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  32. You Oughta Know: A Defence of Obligations to Learn.Teresa Bruno-Niño & Preston J. Werner - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):690-700.
    Most of us spend a significant portion of our lives learning, practising, and performing a wide range of skills. Many of us also have a great amount of control over which skills we learn and develop. From choices as significant as career pursuits to those as minor as how we spend our weeknight leisure time, we exercise a great amount of agency over what we know and what we can do. In this paper we argue, using a framework first developed (...)
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  33. The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck.Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.) - 2019 - Routledge.
    Luck permeates our lives, and this raises a number of pressing questions: What is luck? When we attribute luck to people, circumstances, or events, what are we attributing? Do we have any obligations to mitigate the harms done to people who are less fortunate? And to what extent is deserving praise or blame a ected by good or bad luck? Although acquiring a true belief by an uneducated guess involves a kind of luck that precludes knowledge, does all luck undermine (...)
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  34. Luck: An Introduction.Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge. pp. 1-10.
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  35. Moral Responsibility, Luck, and Compatibilism.Taylor Cyr - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (1):193-214.
    In this paper, I defend a version of compatibilism against luck-related objections. After introducing the types of luck that some take to be problematic for moral responsibility, I consider and respond to two recent attempts to show that compatibilism faces the same problem of luck that libertarianism faces—present luck. I then consider a different type of luck—constitutive luck—and provide a new solution to this problem. One upshot of the present discussion is a reason to prefer a history-sensitive compatibilist account over (...)
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  36. Moral Luck and Control.Steven D. Hales - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):42-58.
    There is no such thing as moral luck or everyone is profoundly mistaken about its nature and a radical rethinking of moral luck is needed. The argument to be developed is not complicated, and relies almost entirely on premises that should seem obviously correct to anyone who follows the moral luck literature. The conclusion, however, is surprising and disturbing. The classic cases of moral luck always involve an agent who lacks control over an event whose occurrence affects her praiseworthiness or (...)
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  37. Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  38. Kant Does Not Deny Resultant Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):136-150.
    It is almost unanimously accepted that Kant denies resultant moral luck—that is, he denies that the lucky consequence of a person’s action can affect how much praise or blame she deserves. Philosophers often point to the famous good will passage at the beginning of the Groundwork to justify this claim. I argue, however, that this passage does not support Kant’s denial of resultant moral luck. Subsequently, I argue that Kant allows agents to be morally responsible for certain kinds of lucky (...)
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  39. Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
    Moral luck occurs when factors beyond an agent’s control positively affect how much praise or blame she deserves. Kinds of moral luck are differentiated by the source of lack of control such as the results of her actions, the circumstances in which she finds herself, and the way in which she is constituted. Many philosophers accept the existence of some of these kinds of moral luck but not others, because, in their view, the existence of only some of them would (...)
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  40. No Luck for Moral Luck.Markus Kneer & Edouard Machery - 2019 - Cognition 182:331-348.
    Moral philosophers and psychologists often assume that people judge morally lucky and morally unlucky agents differently, an assumption that stands at the heart of the Puzzle of Moral Luck. We examine whether the asymmetry is found for reflective intuitions regarding wrongness, blame, permissibility, and punishment judg- ments, whether people’s concrete, case-based judgments align with their explicit, abstract principles regarding moral luck, and what psychological mechanisms might drive the effect. Our experiments produce three findings: First, in within-subjects experiments favorable to reflective (...)
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  41. Feminist Approaches to Moral Luck.Carolyn McLeod & Jody Tomchishen - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & R. Hartmann (eds.), Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York, NY, USA: pp. 426-35.
    To a large extent, what we do and the circumstances we find ourselves in are beyond our control. Yet this fact presents a problem for the common view that we can be held responsible only for what we have direct control over. If we have control over very little, if anything at all, then to what extent can we be held responsible? A typical response by feminist philosophers is to accept the absence of control—or in other words, the presence of (...)
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  42. Interpersonal Moral Luck and Normative Entanglement.Daniel Story - 2019 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:601-616.
    I introduce an underdiscussed type of moral luck, which I call interpersonal moral luck. Interpersonal moral luck characteristically occurs when the actions of other moral agents, qua morally evaluable actions, affect an agent’s moral status in a way that is outside of that agent’s capacity to control. I suggest that interpersonal moral luck is common in collective contexts involving shared responsibility and has interesting distinctive features. I also suggest that many philosophers are already committed to its existence. I then argue (...)
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  43. When Do Circumstances Excuse? Moral Prejudices and Beliefs About the True Self Drive Preferences for Agency-Minimizing Explanations.Simon Cullen - 2018 - Cognition 180:165-181.
    When explaining human actions, people usually focus on a small subset of potential causes. What leads us to prefer certain explanations for valenced actions over others? The present studies indicate that our moral attitudes often predict our explanatory preferences far better than our beliefs about how causally sensitive actions are to features of the actor's environment. Study 1 found that high-prejudice participants were much more likely to endorse non-agential explanations of an erotic same-sex encounter, such as that one of the (...)
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  44. Dispositional Optimism and Luck Attributions: Implications for Philosophical Theories of Luck.Steven D. Hales & Jennifer Adrienne Johnson - 2018 - Philosophical Psychology 31 (7):1027-1045.
    ABSTRACTWe conducted two studies to determine whether there is a relationship between dispositional optimism and the attribution of good or bad luck to ambiguous luck scenarios. Study 1 presented five scenarios that contained both a lucky and an unlucky component, thereby making them ambiguous in regard to being an overall case of good or bad luck. Participants rated each scenario in toto on a four-point Likert scale and then completed an optimism questionnaire. The results showed a significant correlation between optimism (...)
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  45. Rik Peels, Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology. [REVIEW]Robert J. Hartman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (3):646-651.
  46. Constitutive Moral Luck and Strawson's Argument for the Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (2):165-183.
    Galen Strawson’s Basic Argument is that because self-creation is required to be truly morally responsible and self-creation is impossible, it is impossible to be truly morally responsible for anything. I contend that the Basic Argument is unpersuasive and unsound. First, I argue that the moral luck debate shows that the self-creation requirement appears to be contradicted and supported by various parts of our commonsense ideas about moral responsibility, and that this ambivalence undermines the only reason that Strawson gives for the (...)
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  47. Lucky Achievement: Virtue Epistemology on the Value of Knowledge.Tsung‐Hsing Ho - 2018 - Ratio 31 (3):303-311.
    Virtue epistemology argues that knowledge is more valuable than Gettierized belief because knowledge is an achievement, but Gettierized belief is not. The key premise in the achievement argument is that achievement is apt (successful because competent) and Gettierized belief is inapt (successful because lucky). I first argue that the intuition behind the achievement argument is based wrongly on the fact that ‘being successful because lucky’ implicates ‘being not competent enough’. I then offer an argument from moral luck to argue that (...)
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  48. The Objects of Moral Responsibility.Andrew Khoury - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1357-1381.
    It typically taken for granted that agents can be morally responsible for such things as, for example, the death of the victim and the capture of the murderer in the sense that one may be blameworthy or praiseworthy for such things. The primary task of a theory of moral responsibility, it is thought, is to specify the appropriate relationship one must stand to such things in order to be morally responsible for them. I argue that this common approach is problematic (...)
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  49. Criminal Attempts and the Penal Lottery.Andrew C. Khoury - 2018 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 96 (4):779-792.
    In most penal systems, success is punished more than failure. For example, murder is punished more severely than attempted murder. But success or failure is often determined by luck. It thus appears that punishment is allotted on the basis of arbitrary factors. The problem of criminal attempts is the question of how to best resolve this apparent tension. One particularly sophisticated attempt at resolution, first developed by David Lewis, holds that such differential punishment is not unjust when understood as a (...)
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  50. Bernard Williams on Regarding One's Own Action Purely Externally.Jake Wojtowicz - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):49-66.
    I explore what BernardWilliams means by regarding one’s action ‘purely externally, as one might regard anyone else’s action’, and how it links to regret and agent-regret. I suggest some ways that we might understand the external view: as a failure to recognize what one has done, in terms of Williams’s distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic luck, and as akin to Thomas Nagel’s distinction between an internal and external view. I argue that none of these captures what Williams was getting at (...)
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