Interpersonal Moral Luck and Normative Entanglement

Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 6:601-616 (2019)
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Abstract

I introduce an underdiscussed type of moral luck, which I call interpersonal moral luck. Interpersonal moral luck characteristically occurs when the actions of other moral agents, qua morally evaluable actions, affect an agent’s moral status in a way that is outside of that agent’s capacity to control. I suggest that interpersonal moral luck is common in collective contexts involving shared responsibility and has interesting distinctive features. I also suggest that many philosophers are already committed to its existence. I then argue that agents who are susceptible to interpersonal moral luck are usually for this reason defeasibly entitled to make demands of those agents who are the source of that luck. This is the phenomenon of normative entanglement. I conclude by discussing some of the important ways in which normative entanglement can shape the norms that govern the actions of agents in collective contexts as well as explain some of our intuitions about what participants in these contexts owe one another.

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Daniel Story
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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