Abstract/Details

Better good than lucky: An Aristotelian solution to the problem of moral luck


2009 2009

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Abstract (summary)

Philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons by his arguments for the existence of “moral luck.” We intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we seem to routinely praise and blame people for actions, outcomes, and character substantially shaped by luck. This challenge to moral judgment rests on a faulty view of the conditions for moral responsibility and the process of moral judgment. The morally responsible person must satisfy the control and epistemic conditions originally identified by Aristotle in Book Three of the Nicomachean Ethics. When those conditions are adequately explained and developed, moral responsibility clearly tracks a person’s voluntary actions, outcomes, and character. Nagel’s questions about whether a person might have done otherwise given better or worse luck are irrelevant to the praise and blame a person deserves for his actual voluntary doings. This account of moral responsibility and moral judgment eliminates the appearance of moral luck in the puzzling cases raised by Nagel and others. We can conclude that our ordinary moral judgments of persons are warranted: they do not depend on luck in any problematic way.

Indexing (details)


Subject
Law;
Philosophy
Classification
0398: Law
0422: Philosophy
Identifier / keyword
Philosophy, religion and theology; Social sciences; Aristotle; Ethics; Judgment; Moral luck; Nagel, Thomas; Responsibility
Title
Better good than lucky: An Aristotelian solution to the problem of moral luck
Author
Hsieh, Diana Mertz
Number of pages
359
Publication year
2009
Degree date
2009
School code
0051
Source
DAI-A 70/07, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
ISBN
9781109281460
Advisor
Huemer, Michael
Committee member
Boonin, David; Claeys, Eric; Heathwood, Chris; Lee, Mi-Kyoung
University/institution
University of Colorado at Boulder
Department
Philosophy
University location
United States -- Colorado
Degree
Ph.D.
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Language
English
Document type
Dissertation/Thesis
Dissertation/thesis number
3366603
ProQuest document ID
304866995
Copyright
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
http://search.proquest.com/docview/304866995/abstract
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