Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality

Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197 (2019)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

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 make morality unfair. I, however, argue that this intermediary approach is unstable, because either morality is fair in ways that rule out resultant, circumstantial, and constitutive moral luck (and this leads to moral responsibility skepticism), or morality is unfair in ways that permit the existence of those kinds of moral luck. Thus, such intermediary approaches lack the motivation that their proponents have long taken them to have. In the appendix, I point to ways in which morality is unfair concerning the scope of moral responsibility, moral obligation, moral taint, being a good or bad person, and flourishing.

Similar books and articles

Moral Luck Defended.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):683-698.
Against Luck-Free Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2845-2865.
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 from Bernard Williams’ Point of View.Zahra Khazai Tamaddon & Fatemeh - 2016 - Journal of Philosophical Investigations at University of Tabriz 10 (18):189-218.
Moral responsibility and "moral luck".Brian Rosebury - 1995 - Philosophical Review 104 (4):499-524.
Individual Moral Responsibility and Luck.David Worster Concepcion - 2002 - Dissertation, The University of Wisconsin - Madison
Getting Moral Luck Right.Lee John Whittington - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):654-667.
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.
Moral Dilemmas and Moral Luck.Timothy John Dunn - 2001 - Dissertation, Rice University

Analytics

Added to PP
2018-09-10

Downloads
2,211 (#3,718)

6 months
262 (#8,180)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Robert J. Hartman
Ohio Northern University

Citations of this work

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.
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.
Equal Moral Opportunity: A Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.Philip Swenson - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (2):386-404.
Kant Does Not Deny Resultant Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):136-150.

View all 27 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments.R. Jay Wallace - 1994 - Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior.John M. Doris - 2002 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy.Bernard Williams - 1986 - Cambridge, Mass.: Routledge.
Consciousness and Moral Responsibility.Neil Levy - 2014 - New York: Oxford University Press.

View all 86 references / Add more references