Indeterminism, explanation, and luck

The Journal of Ethics 4 (3):211-235 (2000)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

I first adumbrate pertinent aspectsof Robert Kane''s libertarian theory of free choice oraction and an objection of luck that has been levelledagainst the theory. I then consider Kane''s recentresponses to this objection. To meet these responses,I argue that the view that undetermined choices (ofthe sort implied by Kane''s theory) are a matter ofluck is associated with a view about actionexplanation, to wit: when Jones does A and hisdoing of A is undetermined, and when hiscounterpart, Jones*, in the nearest possibleworld in which the past and the laws are held constantuntil the moment of choice does B instead, thereis no explanation (deterministic or indeterministic)of the difference in outcome – Jones''s A-ing butJones*''s B-ing – in terms of prior reasonsor motives of either agent. Absence of such anexplanation is one crucial factor that underliesthe charge that Jones''s A-ing and Jones*''sB-ing are matters of luck. I argue that thissort of luck is incompatible with responsibility.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,623

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
118 (#152,434)

6 months
11 (#350,969)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Ishtiyaque Haji
University of Calgary

Citations of this work

What luck is not.Jennifer Lackey - 2008 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 86 (2):255 – 267.
Incompatibilism and the Past.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):351-376.
Why free will remains a mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
On the ultimate responsibility of collectives.Ish Haji - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):292–308.

View all 15 citations / Add more citations

References found in this work

Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
Freedom of the will and the concept of a person.Harry Frankfurt - 2004 - In Tim Crane & Katalin Farkas (eds.), Metaphysics: a guide and anthology. New York: Oxford University Press.
The impossibility of moral responsibility.Galen Strawson - 1994 - Philosophical Studies 75 (1-2):5-24.
The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Galen J. Strawson - 1982 - In Gary Watson (ed.), Free will. New York: Oxford University Press.
Understanding free will.Michael A. Slote - 1980 - Journal of Philosophy 77 (March):136-51.

View all 8 references / Add more references