Luck as Risk

In Ian M. Church & Robert J. Hartman (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of the Philosophy and Psychology of Luck. Routledge (2019)
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The aim of this paper is to explore the hypothesis that luck is a risk-involving phenomenon. I start by explaining why this hypothesis is prima facie plausible in view of the parallelisms between luck and risk. I then distinguish three ways to spell it out: in probabilistic terms, in modal terms, and in terms of lack of control. Before evaluating the resulting accounts, I explain how the idea that luck involves risk is compatible with the fact that risk concerns unwanted events whereas luck can concern both wanted and unwanted events. I turn to evaluating the modal and probabilistic views and argue, firstly, that they fail to account for the connection between risk and bad luck; secondly, that they also fail to account for the connection between risk and good luck. Finally, I defend the lack of control view. In particular, I argue that it can handle the objections to the probabilistic and modal accounts and that it can explain how degrees of luck and risk covary.

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Fernando Broncano-Berrocal
Universitat de Barcelona


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