The definition of “luck” and the problem of moral luck

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Abstract

Duncan Pritchard argues that the two classical papers on moral luck, those of T. Williams and of T. Nagel, fail in offering a coherent account of the problem of moral luck. Pritchard starts with the classic case of Nagel’s pair of reckless drivers, one of whom hits a pedestrian while the other arrives at his destination unscathed. Pritchard realizes that his critique of Nagel follows the conventional strategy of simply denying the moral difference between the cases in each of the pairs mentioned by Nagel and, in order to show that he, nonetheless, adds to this critique, he says that his argument “supplements and strengthens” it. The way that Nagel sought to capture the puzzle was by talking about the role of luck in moral judgments, but the puzzle can be fully appreciated even without using the notion. Nagel and his followers point to pairs of cases that leave us deeply puzzled.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Pages195-205
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781351258753
ISBN (Print)9780815366591
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2019

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 Taylor & Francis.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (all)

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