Philosophy

Articles

Morality and Luck

Henning Jensena1

a1 University of Arizona

Abstract

Thomas Nagel recognizes that it is commonly believed that people can neither be held morally responsible nor morally assessed for what is beyond their control. Yet he is convinced that although such a belief may be intuitively plausible, upon reflection we find that we do make moral assessments of persons in a large number of cases in which such assessments depend on factors not under their control. Of such factors he says: ‘Wherea significant aspect of what someone does depends on factors beyond his control, yet we continue to treat him in that respect as an object of moral judgment, itcan be called moral luck’ (p. 26).