Circumstance, answerability and luck

The Monist 104 (2):155-167 (2021)
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This paper identifies a distinctive kind of moral luck, deep circumstantial luck and then explores its effects on moral responsibility. A key feature of the phenomenon is that it is recurrent rather than one-off. It also affects agents across a wide range of situations making it difficult to detect. Deeply unlucky agents are subject to unfavourable moral assessments through no fault of their own both in specific cases and when they try to respond to such initial assessments. In this respect, deep circumstantial luck takes the form of a normative burden that grows over time. A process-oriented conception of moral responsibility as answerability is proposed to explain this phenomenon and highlight its implications for rethinking vicarious responsibility.

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Lubomira Radoilska
University of Kent


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