Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (1):17-38 (1988)

Abstract
John Donne's song was hardly written in the tradition of political philosophy, but it has a good deal to say about the theme of luck, both good and bad, which I want to address. There is no doubt but that bad luck has bad consequences for the persons who suffer from it. If there were a costless way in which the consequences of bad luck could be spread across everyone in society at large, without increasing the risk of its occurrence, then most of us would pronounce ourselves better off for the change. In this sense it can be said, for example, that there is a utilitarian grounding for a moral obligation to care and provide for those persons who suffer the fortunes of bad luck. For the sake of argument I do not wish to contest this particular starting point, although there are many who would. Instead, I want to ask the question of whether this moral obligation should be converted into a legal obligation, backed by public force. The dominant answer to that question today is yes. Even those who think that markets should determine decisions on production find that the state has a proper role to reduce the adverse consequences of bad luck. My cast of mind is more skeptical. In life, or, in this instance, politics, “come bad chance, and we do join to it our strength.” In general the effort to use coercion to counter the adverse effects of luck tends only to make matters worse.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0265052500002661
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 63,295
External links

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

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Property Rights in Persons: RICHARD J. ARNESON.Richard J. Arneson - 1992 - Social Philosophy and Policy 9 (1):201-230.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Luck.Richard A. Epstein - 1988 - Social Philosophy and Policy 6 (1):17.
Bad Luck for the Anti‐Luck Epistemologist.Rodrigo Borges - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (4):463-479.
A Problem for Moral Luck.Steven D. Hales - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2385-2403.
Moral Luck and Business Ethics.Christopher Michaelson - 2008 - Journal of Business Ethics 83 (4):773-787.
Moral Luck and the Law.David Enoch - 2010 - Philosophy Compass 5 (1):42-54.
Getting Moral Luck Right.Lee John Whittington - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):654-667.
Luck, Knowledge, and “Mere” Coincidence.Wayne D. Riggs - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):627-639.
Moral Luck Defended.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):683-698.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2017-02-17

Total views
17 ( #613,541 of 2,448,687 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #447,803 of 2,448,687 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes