Chapter

The Spectre of Chance

Neil Duxbury

in Random Justice

Published in print July 1999 | ISBN: 9780198268253
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191683466 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198268253.003.0002
The Spectre of Chance

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Chance offers no guarantee that one will get the outcome that one desires. Just as we can be its beneficiaries, so too we may be its victims. Luck rests at the foundation of our moral judgements: the actions on which we are judged emerge from a world which we do not control. The notion of ‘moral luck’ is especially unnerving because there seems to be something in our conception of morality that arouses opposition to the idea that moral responsibility, or moral merit, or moral blame, should be subject to luck. Chance is an integral, ineradicable feature of law. Just as in other areas of life, being a beneficiary or a victim of the legal system will often be a matter of luck. This book articles the main problems associated with legal decision-making and shows that these problems may be overstated. This book considers what sort of case might be made for the use of lotteries in legal and social decision-making contexts.

Keywords: chance; luck; moral judgements; morality; law; legal decision-making; social decision-making; lotteries

Chapter.  6170 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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