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A Defence of the Control Principle

Philosophia 49 (2):765-775 (2020)

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  1. On Being Responsible and Holding Responsible.Angela M. Smith - 2007 - The Journal of Ethics 11 (4):465-484.
    A number of philosophers have recently argued that we should interpret the debate over moral responsibility as a debate over the conditions under which it would be “fair” to blame a person for her attitudes or conduct. What is distinctive about these accounts is that they begin with the stance of the moral judge, rather than that of the agent who is judged, and make attributions of responsibility dependent upon whether it would be fair or appropriate for a moral judge (...)
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  • Being Responsible, Taking Responsibility, and Penumbral Agency.David Enoch - 2011 - In Heuer and Lang (ed.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes from the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, Usa.
    In "Moral Luck" Bernard Williams famously drew on our intuitive judgments about agent-regret – mostly, on our judgment that agent-regret is often appropriate – in his argument about the role of luck in rational and moral evaluation. I think that Williams is importantly right about the appropriateness of agent-regret, but importantly wrong about the implications of this observation. In this paper, I suggest an alternative understanding of the normative judgment Williams is putting forward, the one about the appropriateness of agent-regret. (...)
     
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  • Simplicity as Evidence of Truth.Richard Swinburne - 1997 - Milwaukee: Marquette University Press.
  • Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Supplementary Volumes 50:115-151.
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  • Playing the Hand You're Dealt: How Moral Luck Is Different From Morally Significant Plain Luck.David Enoch - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):257-270.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Is Agent-Regret Rational?David Sussman - 2018 - Ethics 128 (4):788-808.
    Bernard Williams claims that we should feel “agent-regret” for bad events we cause but for which we are not blameworthy. Such agent-regret involves no presupposition of fault, yet it also involves a need to personally make amends. This combination suggests that agent-regret, even if virtuous, is inherently irrational. In this paper, I defend agent-regret from attempts to explain it away as a confusion of other attitudes. I argue that the rationality of agent-regret is found in how it makes sense as (...)
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  • The Case Against Moral Luck.David Enoch & Andrei Marmor - 2007 - Law and Philosophy 26 (4):405-436.
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  • Moral Luck: Philosophical Papers 1973–1980.Bernard Williams - 1981 - Cambridge University Press.
    Moral Luck centres on questions of moral philosophy and the theory of rational action. That whole area has of course been strikingly reinvigorated over the last decade, and philosophers have both broadened and deepened their concerns in a way that now makes much earlier moral and political philosophy look sterile and trivial.
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  • In Defense of Moral Luck: Why Luck Often Affects Praiseworthiness and Blameworthiness.Robert J. Hartman - 2017 - Routledge.
    There is a contradiction in our ideas about moral responsibility. In one strand of our thinking, we believe that a person can become more blameworthy by luck. Consider some examples in order to make that idea concrete. Two reckless drivers manage their vehicles in the same way, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two corrupt judges would each freely take a bribe if one were offered. By luck of the courthouse draw, only one judge is offered a (...)
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  • Ockham’s Razors: A User’s Manual.Elliott Sober - 2015 - Cambridge University Press.
    Ockham's razor, the principle of parsimony, states that simpler theories are better than theories that are more complex. It has a history dating back to Aristotle and it plays an important role in current physics, biology, and psychology. The razor also gets used outside of science - in everyday life and in philosophy. This book evaluates the principle and discusses its many applications. Fascinating examples from different domains provide a rich basis for contemplating the principle's promises and perils. It is (...)
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  • Moral Luck Defended.Nathan Hanna - 2014 - Noûs 48 (4):683-698.
    I argue that there is moral luck, i.e., that facts beyond our control can affect how laudable or culpable we are.
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  • The Physiognomy of Responsibility.John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (2):381-417.
    Our aim in this paper is to put the concept of moral responsibility under a microscope. At the lowest level of magnification, it appears unified. But Gary Watson has taught us that if we zoom in, we will find that moral responsibility has two faces: attributability and accountability. Or, to describe the two faces in different terms, there is a difference between being responsible and holding responsible. It is one thing to talk about the connection the agent has with her (...)
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  • Moral Luck as Moral Lack of Control.Mark B. Anderson - 2019 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 57 (1):5-29.
    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 (...)
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  • Getting Luck Properly Under Control.Rachel McKinnon - 2013 - Metaphilosophy 44 (4):496-511.
    This article proposes a new account of luck and how luck impacts attributions of credit for agents' actions. It proposes an analogy with the expected value of a series of wagers and argues that luck is the difference between actual outcomes and expected value. The upshot of the argument is that when considering the interplay of intention, chance, outcomes, skill, and actions, we ought to be more parsimonious in our attributions of credit when exercising a skill and obtaining successful outcomes, (...)
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  • Truth is Not (Very) Intrinsically Valuable.Chase B. Wrenn - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (1):108-128.
    We might suppose it is not only instrumentally valuable for beliefs to be true, but that it is intrinsically valuable – truth makes a non-derivative, positive contribution to a belief's overall value. Some intrinsic goods are better than others, though, and this article considers the question of how good truth is, compared to other intrinsic goods. I argue that truth is the worst of all intrinsic goods; every other intrinsic good is better than it. I also suggest the best explanation (...)
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  • Being Responsible, Taking Responsibility, and Penumbral.David Enoch - 2012 - In Ulrike Heuer & Gerald Lang (eds.), Luck, Value, and Commitment: Themes From the Ethics of Bernard Williams. Oxford University Press, Usa. pp. 95.
  • The Force and Fairness of Blame.Pamela Hieronymi - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):115–148.
    In this paper I consider fairness of blaming a wrongdoer. In particular, I consider the claim that blaming a wrongdoer can be unfair because blame has a certain characteristic force, a force which is not fairly imposed upon the wrongdoer unless certain conditions are met--unless, e.g., the wrongdoer could have done otherwise, or unless she is someone capable of having done right, or unless she is able to control her behavior by the light of moral reasons. While agreeing that blame (...)
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  • The Nature and Ethics of Blame.D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2012 - Philosophy Compass 7 (3):197-207.
    Blame is usually discussed in the context of the free will problem, but recently moral philosophers have begun to examine it on its own terms. If, as many suppose, free will is to be understood as the control relevant to moral responsibility, and moral responsibility is to be understood in terms of whether blame is appropriate, then an independent inquiry into the nature and ethics of blame will be essential to solving (and, perhaps, even fully understanding) the free will problem. (...)
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  • The Objects of Moral Responsibility.Andrew Khoury - 2018 - Philosophical Studies 175 (6):1357-1381.
    It typically taken for granted that agents can be morally responsible for such things as, for example, the death of the victim and the capture of the murderer in the sense that one may be blameworthy or praiseworthy for such things. The primary task of a theory of moral responsibility, it is thought, is to specify the appropriate relationship one must stand to such things in order to be morally responsible for them. I argue that this common approach is problematic (...)
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  • The Moral of Moral Luck.Susan Wolf - 2001 - Philosophic Exchange 31 (1).
    This essay is primarily concerned with one type of moral luck – luck in how things turn out. Do acts that actually lead to harm deserve the same treatment as similar acts that, by chance, do not lead to harm? This paper argues that we must recognize the truth in two, opposing tendencies in such cases.
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  • Against Luck-Free Moral Responsibility.Robert J. Hartman - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (10):2845-2865.
    Every account of moral responsibility has conditions that distinguish between the consequences, actions, or traits that warrant praise or blame and those that do not. One intuitive condition is that praiseworthiness and blameworthiness cannot be affected by luck, that is, by factors beyond the agent’s control. Several philosophers build their accounts of moral responsibility on this luck-free condition, and we may call their views Luck-Free Moral Responsibility (LFMR). I offer moral and metaphysical arguments against LFMR. First, I maintain that considerations (...)
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  • Moral Luck and The Unfairness of Morality.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (12):3179-3197.
    Moral luck occurs when factors beyond an agent’s control positively affect how much praise or blame she deserves. Kinds of moral luck are differentiated by the source of lack of control such as the results of her actions, the circumstances in which she finds herself, and the way in which she is constituted. Many philosophers accept the existence of some of these kinds of moral luck but not others, because, in their view, the existence of only some of them would (...)
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  • Accepting Moral Luck.Robert J. Hartman - 2019 - In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. New York: Routledge.
    I argue that certain kinds of luck can partially determine an agent’s praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. To make this view clearer, consider some examples. Two identical agents drive recklessly around a curb, and one but not the other kills a pedestrian. Two identical corrupt judges would freely take a bribe if one were offered. Only one judge is offered a bribe, and so only one judge takes a bribe. Put in terms of these examples, I argue that the killer driver and (...)
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  • Moral Luck: A Partial Map.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):585-608.
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, USA.
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  • Simplicity.Alan Baker - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Moral Luck: A Partial Map.Michael J. Zimmerman - 2006 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 36 (4):585-608.
    University of North Carolina at Greensboro Greensboro, NC 27402-6170, USA.
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  • Moral Luck.Dana K. Nelkin - forthcoming - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Moral Luck.B. A. O. Williams & T. Nagel - 1976 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 50:115 - 151.
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  • Morality and Luck.Henning Jensen - 1984 - Philosophy 59 (229):323 - 330.
    Thomas Nagel recognizes that it is commonly believed that people can neither be held morally responsible nor morally assessed for what is beyond their control. Yet he is convinced that although such a belief may be intuitively plausible, upon reflection we find that we do make moral assessments of persons in a large number of cases in which such assessments depend on factors not under their control. Of such factors he says: (p. 26).
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  • A Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.Brynmor Browne - 1992 - Philosophical Quarterly 42 (168):345-356.
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  • Is Truth Valuable?Ryan Christensen - 2013 - Philosophy 88 (3):451-466.
    This paper examines a puzzle about whether truth is a valuable property: Valuable properties, like beauty and moral goodness, come in degrees; but truth does not come in degrees. Hence, the argument concludes, truth is not valuable. This result is puzzling since it seems to conflict with a deep intuition that truth is valuable. It is suggested that a roughly Platonic theory, on which truth is distinguished into two different concepts, gives a satisfying answer to the puzzle. One of these (...)
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