Moral and Epistemic Luck

Journal of Philosophical Research 25:149-172 (2000)
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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to offer a diagnosis. It focuses on the problem of moral luck, but, unlike most papers on that topic, offers no solution to the problem. Instead, what I do is discuss a number of attempts to show there is no such thing as moral luck, argue that they fail and, more importantly, that we should not be surprised they fail. I then suggest that the difficulty of the problem posed by moral luck is paralleled by another problem about luck, namely the problem of coming up with an account of propositional knowledge that does not count certain lucky guesses as knowledge. The comparison is instructive. It brings home how hard it is to eliminate luck. As such, we should not expect a solution to either problem to be forthcoming. I also note an important disanalogy between the two problems. While we can quite easily accept that luck plays a role in knowledge, the existence of moral luck threatens to cause a good deal more trouble.

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Citations of this work

(In)compatibilism.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2023 - In Joe Campbell, Kristin M. Mickelson & V. Alan White (eds.), Wiley-Blackwell: A Companion to Free Will. Wiley. pp. 58-83.
The Modal Account of Luck.Duncan Pritchard - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (4-5):594-619.
Moral Luck.Dana K. Nelkin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
What luck is not.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):255 – 267.
Against Luck-Free Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2845-2865.

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