On the Luck Objection to Libertarianism

In Andrei Buckareff, Carlos Moya & Sergi Rosell (eds.), Agency, Freedom, and Moral Responsibility. New York: Palgrave-Macmillan. pp. 94-115 (2015)
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Abstract Libertarians typically believe that we are morally responsible for the choices (or decisions) we make only if those choices are free, and our choices are free only if they are neither caused nor nomically necessitated by antecedent events. Recently, there have been a number of attempts by philosophers to refute libertarianism by arguing that because a libertarianly free decision (choice) is both causally and nomically undetermined, which decision an agent makes in a deliberative situation is a matter of luck, which implies (due to the way these philosophers use 'luck') that the agent does not have control over which decision he makes. This argument has been dubbed "the Argument from Luck" or "the Luck Objection" against libertarianism – henceforth 'LO'. In this paper, we examine some versions of LO as reflected in the works of Alfred Mele (2006), Neil Levy (2011), and Peter van Inwagen (2000, 2011). We argue that libertarians have nothing to fear from LO. Deep down the objection reflects a failure, on the part of its proponents, really to come to grips with the libertarian position.

Author's Profile

David Widerker
Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan


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