Luck and the responsibilities to protect one’s epigenome

This paper builds upon the debate on ‘moral luck’ – i.e. the import that factors beyond one's control have on the cogency of normative claims such as responsibilities – to criticise claims towards backward- and forward-looking responsibilities to protect one's epigenome for the sake of personal or future generations' health. Luck, I argue, is part and parcel with the actions required to protect our epigenomes, and points to the need of dismissing the ensuing individual responsibility claims. But what about the consensual alternative of appeals to collective responsibilities? If a consideration of luck reveals the vulnerabilities, circumstances and uncertainties that call into question individual responsibilities, the same kind of reasoning could apply analogously to collective agencies. Luck is no less of a challenge to our moral intuitions in the case of collective epigenetic responsibilities, and demands abandoning dominant atomistic framings parsing out individuals and collectives in the societal uptake of epigenetics.
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Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
Against Luck-Free Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2845-2865.

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