On Luck and Modality

Erkenntnis 87 (4):1873-1887 (2020)
  Copy   BIBTEX


The modal account of luck is the predominant account of luck in epistemology and ethics. In the first half of this paper, I discuss three possible interpretations of the modal account and raise objections to each. I then raise an objection to all plausible versions of the modal account, that is, that whether an event is lucky or the extent to which it is a matter of luck will depend on what initial conditions or features of the event one holds constant across nearby possible worlds. However, there is often reasonable disagreement about what the relevant initial conditions of an event are, and the modal account of luck has no means of determining which description of the event is correct. As such, the modal account is subject to a kind of reference class problem, and the view cannot actually tell us the extent to which certain events are a matter of luck.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,953

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

On Luck and Modality.Jesse Hill - 2022 - Erkenntnis 87 (4):1873-1887.
Towards a Hybrid Account of Luck.Job de Grefte - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (2):240-255.
Pritchard Versus Pritchard on Luck.Job De Grefte - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (1-2):3-15.
The Modal Account of Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):594-619.
Epistemic Risk.Duncan Pritchard - 2016 - Journal of Philosophy 113 (11):550-571.
Bad Luck for the Anti‐Luck Epistemologist.Rodrigo Borges - 2016 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 54 (4):463-479.
Getting Moral Luck Right.Lee John Whittington - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):654-667.
A problem for moral luck.Steven D. Hales - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (9):2385-2403.
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.
Defending Contrastive Luck.Patrick Beach - 2017 - Southwest Philosophy Review 33 (2):107-126.
What, and where, luck is: A response to Jennifer Lackey.Neil Levy - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (3):489 – 497.


Added to PP

13 (#1,063,856)

6 months
5 (#710,646)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

On luck and significance.Jesse Hill - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
What's Luck Got to do with the Luck Pincer?Jesse Hill - 2021 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 103 (4):837-858.

Add more citations

References found in this work

Epistemic Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2005 - Oxford, GB: Oxford University Press UK.
Knowledge and Lotteries.John Hawthorne - 2005 - Philosophical Quarterly 55 (219):353-356.
Assertion, knowledge, and context.Keith DeRose - 2002 - Philosophical Review 111 (2):167-203.
Responsible Belief: A Theory in Ethics and Epistemology.Rik Peels - 2016 - New York, NY: Oxford University Press USA.

View all 22 references / Add more references