Moral luck

Suppose that we are genuinely grateful that Gauguin did what he did and, as a result, became a great artist.

moral luck vs kant

What is not appropriate is to offer different moral assessments of their behavior e. This might be thought enough to generate a problem for the type of morality Williams opposes.

As Zimmerman writes, If there is unfairness in the differential judgments [for example, Merely Reckless is more blameworthy than Works Tonight]—as I believe there is … then this unfairness … [consists] in ascribing moral responsibility to one … but not ascribing it to the otherp.

Roger Crispp. But this requirement is more general than a strict requirement of control, and although easily confused with the Control Principle, is superior to it, on this view.

causal moral luck example

But given the parallels between Sneezy and Off-Target same intentions, plans, and so on are similar to the parallels between Off-Target and Bulls-Eye, we have analogical evidence that Off-Target is less blameworthy than Bulls-Eye. The problem could equally well be presented as a conflict between intuitions.

That is, there is luck in the sense that there is no explanation as to why a person chose to be one way rather than another.

Situational luck

In particular, she presents Plato and Aristotle as disagreeing about whether a good life must be invulnerable to luck, arguing that for Plato it must, but for Aristotle it need not. It is worth noting, however, as several of these authors do themselves, that even if we were confident in our possession of psychological explanations of our intuitions, there would still be philosophical work to do to sort out what the normative facts are. Such a picture is somewhat unpopular amongst philosophers these days, although it is arguably still our intuitive picture. If we focus on a person's character, then what of the luck involved in determining what that person's character is? It seems that morality can only insulate itself from luck at the expense of foregoing supreme value. The fortunate driver is lucky in the sense that his moral failings may escape detection, but not in actually having a moral standing any different from that of the unfortunate driver. Nussbaum, M. It is difficult to tell. And, further, one might be more blameworthy in the case in which one kills the dog than in the case in which one takes the same risk but luckily reaches home without hitting anything. In the end, people are assessed for what they are like, not for how they ended up that way. These are difficult questions for those who would draw a line at resultant luck. Circumstantial moral luck[ edit ] Circumstantial moral luck concerns the surroundings of the moral agent.

For this reason, it is in terms of luck rather than lack of control that we shall hereafter frame the problem.

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Moral luck and the unfairness of morality