Semantic and Moral Luck

Metaphilosophy 43 (3):204-220 (2012)
Abstract
The similarities between the philosophical debates surrounding assessment sensitivity and moral luck run so deep that one can easily adapt almost any argument from one debate, change some terms, adapt the examples, and end up with an argument relevant to the other. This article takes Brian Rosebury's strategy for resisting moral luck in “Moral Responsibility and ‘Moral Luck' ” (1995) and turns it into a strategy for resisting assessment sensitivity. The article shows that one of Bernard Williams's examples motivating moral luck is very similar to one of the examples John MacFarlane uses to motivate the assessment sensitivity of epistemic modals, and in particular the assessment sensitivity of the auxiliary verb “might.” This means that, if Rosebury is right and we do not actually need moral luck to explain Williams's example, we may not need assessment sensitivity to account for the semantic behaviour of the epistemic modal verb “might” either
Keywords relativism  might  epistemic modals  epistemic modality  luck  assesment sensitivity
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DOI 10.1111/j.1467-9973.2012.01747.x
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References found in this work BETA
Thomas Nagel (1979). Mortal Questions. Cambridge University Press.
John MacFarlane (2005). Making Sense of Relative Truth. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 105 (3):321–339.
Jeffrey C. King (2003). Tense, Modality, and Semantic Values. Philosophical Perspectives 17 (1):195–246.

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