Res Philosophica 94 (1):95-117 (2017)

Authors
Jordan MacKenzie
Virginia Tech
Abstract
Agent-regret seems to give rise to a philosophical puzzle. If we grant that we are not morally responsible for consequences outside our control, then agent-regret—which involves self-reproach and a desire to make amends for consequences outside one’s control—appears rationally indefensible. But despite its apparent indefensibility, agent-regret still seems like a reasonable response to bad moral luck. I argue here that the puzzle can be resolved if we appreciate the role that agent-regret plays in a larger social practice that helps us deal with bad moral luck. That agent-regret is a component in a social practice limits the questions that we can reasonably ask about it. While we can ask whether an experience of agent-regret is rational given the norms of this practice, we cannot ask the question that motivates the puzzle of agent-regret, viz. whether agent-regret is rationally defensible according to the Standard View.
Keywords agent-regret  moral emotions  moral luck  moral responsibility  Bernard Williams  social practices
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ISBN(s) 2168-9105
DOI 10.11612/resphil.1496
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References found in this work BETA

Wise Choices, Apt Feelings.Allan Gibbard - 1990 - Ethics 102 (2):342-356.
Mortal Questions.[author unknown] - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):578-578.
Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes( 50:115-151.
Two Concepts of Rules.John Rawls - 1955 - Philosophical Review 64 (1):3-32.
Is Agent-Regret Rational?David Sussman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (4):788-808.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Luck and the Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
Accepting Moral Luck.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.
Is Agent-Regret Rational?David Sussman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (4):788-808.
Empirical Vindication of Moral Luck.Victor Kumar - 2019 - Noûs 53 (4):987-1007.
Bernard Williams on Regarding One's Own Action Purely Externally.Jake Wojtowicz - 2018 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 4 (1):49-66.

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