Moral Luck and Unfair Blame

Journal of Value Inquiry:1-17 (2021)
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Moral luck occurs when factors beyond an agent’s control affect her blameworthiness. Several scholars deny the existence of moral luck by distinguishing judging blameworthy from blame-related practices. Luck does not affect an agent’s blameworthiness because morality is conceptually fair, but it can affect the appropriate degree of blame for that agent. While separatism resolves the paradox of moral luck, we aim to show it that it needs amendment, because it is unfair to treat two equally blameworthy people unequally. We argue that separatists should conceive fairness as a pro tanto reason for blame. By locating fairness as a ground for blame within a wider axiology of blame, separatism could resolve the challenge of blaming fairly. In such an axiology, reasonable and fair blame diverge.

Author Profiles

Martin Sand
Delft University of Technology
Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology


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