Philosophical Studies 176 (1):45-64 (2019)

Hasko von Kriegstein
Toronto Metropolitan University
This paper critically assesses existing accounts of the nature of difficulty, finds them wanting, and proposes a new account. The concept of difficulty is routinely invoked in debates regarding degrees of moral responsibility, and the value of achievement. Until recently, however, there has not been any sustained attempt to provide an account of the nature of difficulty itself. This has changed with Gwen Bradford’s Achievement, which argues that difficulty is a matter of how much intense effort is expended. But while this account captures something important about the relationship between difficulty and achievement, it fails to account for the fact that part of what makes achievements great is that they are difficult in a moderately agent-neutral kind of way. Nor is this thought captured by any other extant account. I argue that to fill this gap we should think of difficulty in terms of low probability of success.
Keywords difficulty  achievement  degrees of responsibility  value of achievement  well-being  demandingness
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-017-1005-3
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References found in this work BETA

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Citations of this work BETA

Creativity, Spontaneity, and Merit.Antti Kauppinen - forthcoming - In Alex King & Christy Mag Uidhir (eds.), Philosophy and Art: New Essays at the Intersection. Oxford University Press.
The Competition Account of Achievement‐Value.Ian D. Dunkle - 2019 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 100 (4):1018-1046.
Difficulty & Quality of Will: Implications for Moral Ignorance.Anna Hartford - 2022 - Philosophical Explorations 25 (2):141-158.
Talent Dispositionalism.Catherine M. Robb - 2020 - Synthese 198 (9):8085-8102.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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