Playing the Hand You're Dealt: How Moral Luck Is Different from Morally Significant Plain Luck (And Probably Doesn’t Exist)
20 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2019 Last revised: 23 Apr 2019
Date Written: April 14, 2019
What you ought to do is sensitive to circumstances that are not under your control, or to luck. So plain luck is often morally significant. Still, some of us think that there's no moral luck - that praiseworthiness and blameworthiness are not sensitive to luck. What explains this asymmetry between the luck-sensitivity of ought-judgments and the luck-insensitivity of blameworthiness and praiseworthiness judgments?
In this paper I suggest an explanation, relying heavily on the analogy between rational luck and moral luck. I argue that some rational assessments - like how well one plays the hand one's dealt - are luck-insensitive; that we have reason to believe some moral evaluations are closely analogous to such luck-insensitive rational assessments, and furthermore that blameworthiness and praiseworthiness judgments are probably precisely those luck-insensitive moral evaluations. I also draw an implication regarding agent-regret.
Keywords: moral luck, moral responsibility, legal luck, agent-regret
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