Journal of Moral Philosophy 3 (2):179--192 (2006)

Mark Silcox
University of Central Oklahoma
Thomas Nagel has proposed that the existence of moral luck mandates a general attitude of skepticism in ethics. One popular way of arguing against Nagel’s claim is to insist that the phenomenon of moral luck itself is an illusion , in the sense that situations in which it seems to occur may be plausibly re-described so as to show that agents need not be held responsible for the unlucky outcomes of their actions. Here I argue that this strategy for explaining away moral luck fails because it does not take account of the fact that agents in morally unlucky circumstances are uniformly subject to a very specific type of epistemic obligation. I then proceed to sketch out an alternative strategy for blocking the inference to skepticism, one that makes use of the distinctive explanatory resources provided by epistemic virtue theory. Key Words: moral luck • moral skepticism • Thomas Nagel • virtue epistemology • Linda Zagzebski.
Keywords ETHICS, moral luck, nagel thomas, scepticism, VIRTUE epistemology, zagzebski linda
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DOI 10.1177/1740468106065491
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References found in this work BETA

Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50 (1):115-152.
Moral Luck.Bernard Williams - 1985 - Critica 17 (51):101-105.
Agent-Based Virtue Ethics.Michael Slote - 1995 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 20 (1):83-101.
Moral Luck.Nicholas Rescher - 1993 - In Daniel Statman (ed.), Moral Luck. Suny Press. pp. 141--66.
Reason, Virtue, and Knowledge.Simon Blackburn - 2001 - In Abrol Fairweather & Linda Trinkaus Zagzebski (eds.), Virtue Epistemology: Essays on Epistemic Virtue and Responsibility. Oxford University Press. pp. 15--29.

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Citations of this work BETA

Moral Luck and Moral Performance.Hallvard Lillehammer - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):1017-1028.
Reply to Silcox on Moral Luck.Brian Rosebury - 2009 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (1):109-113.

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