Kant Does Not Deny Resultant Moral Luck

Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):136-150 (2019)
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Abstract

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 consequences. Even so, I argue that it is unclear whether Kant ultimately endorses resultant moral luck. The reason is that Kant does not write enough on moral responsibility for consequences to determine definitively whether he thinks that the lucky consequence for which an agent is morally responsible can add to her degree of praiseworthiness or blameworthiness. The clear upshot, however, is that Kant does not deny resultant moral luck.

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Author's Profile

Robert J. Hartman
Ohio Northern University

Citations of this work

The Ethics of Conceptualization: A Needs-Based Approach.Matthieu Queloz - forthcoming - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Free Will and Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2022 - In Joseph Keim Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.), A Companion to Free Will. Hoboken, NJ, USA: Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 378-392.
Moral luck and moral performance.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):1017-1028.
Fortunately Forgiven.Daniel Telech - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Normative Ethics.

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References found in this work

Groundwork for the metaphysics of morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785 - New York: Oxford University Press. Edited by Thomas E. Hill & Arnulf Zweig.
On Virtue Ethics.Rosalind Hursthouse - 1999 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals.Immanuel Kant - 1785/2002 - In Practical Philosophy. Cambridge University Press. pp. 37-108.
Persons, Character, and Morality.Bernard Williams - 1976 - In James Rachels (ed.), Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980. Cambridge University Press.

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