Postscript: Moral Luck

Duncan Pritchard

in Epistemic Luck

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780199280384
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602290 | DOI:
Postscript: Moral Luck

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I outline how an analysis of epistemic luck has ramifications for the supposedly parallel debate regarding moral luck. Focusing on the two classic papers on moral luck by Thomas Nagel and Bernard Williams, I examine the arguments and examples put forward in this regard and highlight how a primarily epistemological analysis can be put into service to cast light on the corresponding moral debate. In particular, I show that these authors fail to distinguish a specifically moral problem, and that what difficulties they do highlight are parasitic on the problem of reflective epistemic luck. I conclude that there is a strong prima facie case for thinking that there is no such thing as moral luck, and that the only reason why many think that there is because they are confusing the non-existent problem of moral luck with the entirely genuine problem of reflective epistemic luck.

Keywords: epistemic luck; epistemology; ethics; moral luck; rationality; scepticism

Chapter.  9202 words. 

Subjects: Metaphysics

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