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Moral luck - Essay Example
Moral luck involves the question of responsibility for that which one cannot control. Is it just to hold a person morally responsible for actions taken in response to a situation he/she did not bring about According to Thomas Nagel (1993), "where a significant aspect of what someone does depends on factors beyond his control, yet we continue to treat him in that respect as an object of moral judgment, it can be called moral luck" (59)…
Concepcion (2002) describes the "standard view of responsibility" whereby "it is unjust to hold a person morally responsible for that which she did not control. Agents deserve to be morally appraised or held liable only for that which they controlled" (455). The problem this poses is that at some level it can always be argued that a situation was outside of a person's control. There will invariably be some uncontrollable factor that, when joining the confluence of other factors over which a person did have control, it can be argued was the cause of any given scenario.
For example, if a person driving a vehicle strikes a child who suddenly runs into the road, it might be argued that the person could have been paying closer attention and thereby braked sooner, or should have been driving more slowly. On the other hand it could be argued that a reasonable person under the circumstances could not have predicted the child running into the road, and therefore this was just bad luck and the driver should not be held responsible. This epitomizes the concept of moral luck. To what extend does a random, uncontrollable occurrence relieve a person of moral responsibility for a harm done
Concepcion goes on to argue that accepting the standard view of responsibility "is tantamount t ...