Gradualism and the Gradualistic Account of Luck

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Luck has become an increasingly important factor in epistemology during recent years as either a preventor of knowledge (Pritchard 2013) or even as one of the conditions of knowledge (Zagzebski 1994, Hetherington 2013), thus begging the question of its definition. Following the probabilistic and degree-minding "new paradigm psychology of reasoning" (Evans 2012, Elqayam & Over 2012, Pfeifer & Douven 2014) and renouncing the "old paradigm" of bivalence, the first main feature of this article lies in the introduction of "gradualism" according to which vast parts of reality comes in degrees (=metaphysical or ontological gradualism) and, given that theoretical constructs are supposed to accurately correspond to reality, according to which gradualistic or degree-minding frameworks need to be established in all of philosophy or science (=theoretical gradualism). As the second and more central feature of this article, and building on gradualism and Riggs' (2007) pivotal idea that "luck comes in degrees", I will then develop my own gradualistic account of luck with two always necessary gradual conditions (low enough chance and high enough significance) and one sometimes necessary gradual condition (low enough control or high enough lack of control). During the presentation of this new account of luck, I will also deliver decisive arguments against prominent luck philosopher Duncan Pritchard's latest version of the modal account of luck (forthcoming) which contains major mistakes in respect to all three conditions of luck.
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First archival date: 2014-03-16
Latest version: 4 (2014-05-24)
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