Moral Luck and the Question of Responsibility

  • Gargi Goswami

Abstract

The problem of moral luck is a genuine moral problem faced by all of us where the conflict arises on how and upon whom one should place the burden of moral responsibility when the situation is beyond one‟s control. On one hand, people commonly think that a person cannot be justly praised or blamed for his actions unless he controls them. On the other hand, ordinary moral judgments of persons routinely vary based on the actual consequences caused by the person, even when partly or wholly beyond his control. The problem lies in the apparent conflict between the idea that a morally responsible agent must control his actions and the standard practice of blaming people more simply for causing worse results even when the factors are beyond his control. My paper will focus on the various types of moral luck as explained by Thomas Nagel and analyze that the seemingly hopeless situations in the various cases of moral luck can be satisfactorily resolved by a proper theory of moral responsibility.

Published
2015-06-30