Moral Luck as Moral Lack of Control

Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):5-29 (2019)
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Abstract

When Thomas Nagel originally coined the expression “moral luck,” he used the term “luck” to mean lack of control. This use was a matter of stipulation, as Nagel’s target had little to do with luck itself, but the question of how control is related to moral responsibility. Since then, we have seen several analyses of the concept of luck itself, and recent contributors to the moral luck literature have often assumed that any serious contribution to the moral luck debate must begin with a robust concept of luck simpliciter. I argue here that this assumption is a mistake, on the basis of three reasons: the issue was originally conceived as an issue about responsibility and control, analyses of luck tend to distort and needlessly to complicate what is at issue when shoehorned into the moral luck debate, and these analyses have very little (if anything) to contribute to the discussion.

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Mark B. Anderson
Tarrant County College

Citations of this work

Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
(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.
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.
Free Will, Self‐Creation, and the Paradox of Moral Luck.Kristin M. Mickelson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):224-256.

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References found in this work

Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza - 1998 - New York: Cambridge University Press. Edited by Mark Ravizza.
Mortal Questions.[author unknown] - 1979 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 43 (3):578-578.
Mortal Questions.Thomas Nagel - 1983 - Religious Studies 19 (1):96-99.
Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility.John Martin Fischer - 1998 - Philosophical and Phenomenological Research 61 (2):459-466.

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