Apr 162015
 

Here’s an interesting philosophical question, raised indirectly by philosopher Iskra Fileva on Facebook:

If a person refrains from doing a wrong act due to some wrong motive, does that person count as self-controlled (in Aristotle’s sense) or not?

For example, a married man wants to have an affair with a co-worker but he refrains — not because he’s pledged his fidelity to his wife, but due to fear of social disapproval if the affair is revealed because she’s black/Jewish/older/Catholic/wiccan/whatever.

I don’t think that this counts as self-control (a.k.a. continence) because the person is ignorant of and/or blind to the relevant moral considerations. On Aristotle’s descending moral scale from virtuous to self-controlled to un-self-controlled to vicious (explained briefly here), he’s in the vicious category, even though he happens not to have done the immoral act of cheating on his wife.

This is why — as I argue in my book on moral luck — we need to distinguish between judgments of actions, outcomes, and character. These judgments identify different facts and serve different purposes. A person can still be of vicious character, yet not perform any immoral acts. (At least, that can happen in the short term. Long-term, bad acts are pretty darn likely.) That’s only a puzzle if we’re not clear about the various purposes and bases of our various kinds of moral judgments.

 

I’m delighted to remind you that the kindle ebook version of my book Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame is on sale for half price — just $4.99 — right this very minute! The sale will run until tomorrow, January 16th at 11 pm PT.

Here’s a bit about the book:

Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame?

In his famous article “Moral Luck,” philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters — even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the “problem of moral luck.”

Philosopher Diana Hsieh argues that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, Hsieh explains the sources and limits of a person’s responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, she shows that moral judgments are not undermined by luck.

In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.

If you want to learn more about the book, check out its web page: Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. That page has links to free preview chapters, as well as chapter-by-chapter podcast discussions.

Now hurry on over to buy the kindle ebook for just $4.99 before it’s too late!

Jan 122015
 

I’m delighted to announce that the kindle ebook version of my book Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame will be on sale for half price — just $4.99 — later this week. The sale will run from January 15th (starting at 1 am PT) to January 16th (ending at 11 pm PT).

Here’s a bit about the book:

Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame?

In his famous article “Moral Luck,” philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters — even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the “problem of moral luck.”

Philosopher Diana Hsieh argues that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, Hsieh explains the sources and limits of a person’s responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, she shows that moral judgments are not undermined by luck.

In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.

If you want to learn more about the book, check out its web page: Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame. That page has links to free preview chapters, as well as chapter-by-chapter podcast discussions.

Remember to buy the kindle ebook on January 15th or January 16th to get it for half price — just $4.99! (Don’t worry… I’ll post a reminder!)

 

Hooray! I’m fast approaching the break-even point on my expenses for publishing Responsibility & Luck! Hence, new purchases will be paying me for the many hours of labor that I spent editing and otherwise preparing the book for publication… very soon!

Of course, I could have opted for the “respectable” route with a traditional publisher. Happily though, I don’t care about my academic reputation in the slightest. For by that method, I would have been lucky to have been paid anything more than a pittance. Moreover, I would have lost control over the whole process of publication — to the detriment of myself and my readers, I think. Sure, the book took far more work to edit and publish than I expected. But given the results, I can’t be unhappy with that.

Just FYI, my plans to produce a podcast series on the book were put on hold due to other commitments, but that’ll happen starting in May or June. So if you have questions or comments on the book that you’d like me to address, by all means, email them to me!

 

I’m delighted to announce that my first book, Responsibility & Luck: A Defense of Praise and Blame, is now available for purchase in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook.

The book defends the justice of moral praise and blame of persons using an Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility, thereby refuting Thomas Nagel’s “problem of moral luck.” It’s an academic work but accessible to anyone with an interest in philosophy.

About Responsibility & Luck

Does the pervasive influence of luck in life mean that people cannot be held responsible for their choices? Do people lack the control required to justify moral praise and blame?

In his famous article “Moral Luck,” philosopher Thomas Nagel casts doubt on our ordinary moral judgments of persons. He claims that we intuitively accept that moral responsibility requires control, yet we praise and blame people for their actions, the outcomes of those actions, and their characters — even though shaped by forces beyond their control, i.e., by luck. This is the “problem of moral luck.”

Philosopher Diana Hsieh argues that this attack on moral judgment rests on a faulty view of control, as well as other errors. By developing Aristotle’s theory of moral responsibility, Hsieh explains the sources and limits of a person’s responsibility for what he does, what he produces, and who he is. Ultimately, she shows that moral judgments are not undermined by luck.

In addition, this book explores the nature of moral agency and free will, the purpose of moral judgment, causation in tort and criminal law, the process of character development, and more.

For more information, including two sample chapters and the detailed table of contents, visit the book’s web page.

Again, you can purchase Responsibility & Luck in paperback, as well as for Kindle and Nook.

Paperback Kindle Nook

Like every author, I depend on good reviews of the book on Amazon, social media, and elsewhere. So once you’ve read Responsibility & Luck, please review it!

 

Not too long ago, I realized that my four-lecture 2010 OCON course — Luck in the Pursuit of Life: The Rational Egoist’s Approach to Luck — is available from the Ayn Rand Bookstore for just $22.38.

Update: As of January 2013, this course is no longer available from ARB. Check this page to see if it’s available now.

Here’s the course description:

Many people think of luck as a metaphysical force in the universe: they aim to increase good luck and decrease bad luck. That’s wrong—but how should rational egoists think about luck? This course argues that we ought to diminish the influence of luck on our lives by more fully exerting our powers of rational, purposeful control.

After defining luck, the first two lectures of this course survey two major false views of luck. The first lecture examines the religious view, exemplified by Augustine, that luck is a mere illusion because every event is the product of divine providence. The second lecture examines the modern egalitarian view, developed by philosophers John Rawls and Thomas Nagel, that luck is so pervasive in life that no one can be said to justly deserve anything, not merely economic goods but moral praise and blame too. These two views of luck are not merely based on false assumptions. When practiced, a person is subject to more blind luck than ever before.

Then the course turns to the rational approach to luck. First, Aristotle’s writings on moral responsibility, plus Ayn Rand’s argument for explicit philosophy, provide a framework for thinking about how to expand our power to shape our lives and thereby minimize luck. The heroes in Atlas Shrugged exemplify this approach, while the villains concretize its opposite. Next, the course considers some of the ways in which the Objectivist virtues make possible greater rational, purposeful control over our pursuit of values. Finally, the fourth lecture discusses some practical strategies for minimizing the effects of luck on our pursuits, with a focus on managing emergencies, increasing productivity, dealing with irrational people, and engaging in political activism.

Prospectus Defense

 Posted by on 25 January 2008 at 6:28 pm  Moral Luck, Philosophy, Prospectus
Jan 252008
 

Hooray for me!
Hooray for me!
Hooray for me!

I successfully defended my prospectus today. It went fabulously well. The four (of five) faculty on my committee able to attend seemed broadly supportive of my project, with good questions, comments, and challenges. They voted to pass me, so now the only work left for my Ph.D is my already-in-progress dissertation.

Paul and I are headed out to celebrate by consuming vast quantities of delicious calories!

Hooray for me!
Hooray for me!
Hooray for me!

Prospectus: Proposed Bibliography

 Posted by on 20 December 2007 at 10:00 am  Moral Luck, Philosophy, Prospectus
Dec 202007
 

This post contains the proposed bibliography of my dissertation prospectus, written in pursuit of my Ph.D in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and submitted to my committee in early December 2007. The full prospectus is available in PDF format and as an MS Word file. Comments and questions are welcome. While they won’t change the prospectus, they might be of use as I write the dissertation over the next year.

Proposed Bibliography

(Sources that I have already reviewed in sufficient detail already are marked with an asterisk.)

Ackrill, J. L. “Aristotle on Action.” In Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, 93-101. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.

* Adams, Robert M. “Involuntary Sins.” Philosophical Review 94 (1985): 3-31.

* Adler, Jonathan E. “Luckless Desert Is Different Desert.” Mind 96 (1987): 247-49.

* Andre, Judith. “Nagel, Williams, and Moral Luck.” In Moral Luck, edited by Daniel Statman, 123-30. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

* Annas, Julia. The Morality of Happiness. New York: Oxford University Press, 1993.

* ———. “The Structure of Virtue.” In Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives from Ethics and Epistemology, edited by Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski, 15-33. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003.

———. “Virtue Ethics and Social Psychology ” A Priori 2 (2003): 20-34.

* ———. “Comments on John Doris’s Lack of Character.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71, no. 3 (2005): 636-42.

Anscombe, G. E. M. Intention. 2nd ed. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000.

* Appeals Court of New York. “Palsgraf V. Long Island Railroad Company, 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 285-91. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

* Aquinas, Thomas. Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by C.I. Litzinger. Notre Dame, Ind.: Dumb Ox Books, 1993.

Arendt, Hannah. Eichmann in Jerusalem. Revised and Enlarged ed. New York: Penguin Books, 1964.

———. Responsibility and Judgment. Edited by Jerome Kohn. 1st ed. New York: Schocken Books, 2003.

* Aristotle. Rhetoric. Translated by W.D. Ross, revised by J.O. Urmson. Edited by Johnathan Barnes. 2 vols. Vol. 2, The Complete Works of Aristotle. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

———. Physics. Translated by R. P. Hardie and R. K. Gaye. Edited by Johnathan Barnes. 2 vols. Vol. 1, The Complete Works of Aristotle. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

* ———. Nicomachean Ethics. Translated by W.D. Ross, revised by J.O. Urmson. Edited by Johnathan Barnes. 2 vols. Vol. 2, The Complete Works of Aristotle. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Arpaly, Nomy. Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry into Moral Agency. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

* ———. “Comments on Lack of Character by John Doris.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71, no. 3 (2005): 643-47.

Athanassoulis, Nafsika. “A Response to Harman: Virtue Ethics and Character Traits.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100, no. 1 (2000): 215-21.

* ———. “Common-Sense Virtue Ethics and Moral Luck.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8, no. 3 (2005): 265-76.

———. Morality, Moral Luck and Responsibility: Fortune’s Web. New York: Palgrave Macmillan Press, 2005.

Audi, Robert. Moral Knowledge and Ethical Character. New York: Oxford Univ Press, 1997.

Austin, John. “Intention.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 179-84. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

* Axtell, Guy. “Felix Culpa: Luck in Ethics and Epistemology.” Metaphilosophy 34, no. 3 (2003): 331-52.

Baker, Tom. “Liability Insurance, Moral Luck, and Auto Accidents.” In SSRN, 2007.

Baron, Marcia. “Remorse and Agent-Regret.” In Ethical Theory: Character and Virtue, edited by Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling and Howard K. Wettstein, 259-81. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988.

* Binswanger, Harry. “Volition as Cognitive Self-Regulation.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50 (1991): 154-78.

* Bittner, Rudiger. “Is It Reasonable to Regret Things One Did?” Journal of Philosophy 89, no. 5 (1992): 262-73.

* Bostock, David. Aristotle’s Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

Bowlin, John. Contingency and Fortune in Aquinas’s Ethics. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1999.

Bradie, Michael, and Myles Brand, eds. Action and Responsibility, Bowling Green Studies in Applied Philosophy. Bowling Green, OH: The Applied Philosophy Program, Bowling Green State University, 1980.

Brake, Elizabeth. “Fatherhood and Child Support: Do Men Have a Right to Choose?” Journal of Applied Philosophy 22, no. 1 (2005): 55-73.

Brandt, R. B. . “The Structure of Virtue.” In Ethical Theory: Character and Virtue, edited by Peter A. French, Theodore E. Uehling and Howard K. Wettstein, 64-82. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1988.

Brewer, Talbot. The Bounds of Choice: Unchosen Virtues, Unchosen Commitments. New York: Garland Publishing, 2000.

Broadie, Sarah. Ethics with Aristotle. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

* Brogaard, Berit. “Epistemological Contextualism and the Problem of Moral Luck.” Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84, no. 4 (2003): 351-70.

* Browne, Brynmor. “A Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.” Philosophical Quarterly 42, no. 168 (1992): 345-56.

Burger, A. J. , ed. The Ethics of Belief. Roseville, CA: Dry Bones Press, 2001.

Burnyeat, M. F. “Aristotle on Learning to Be Good.” In Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, 69-92. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.

Card, Claudia. The Unnatural Lottery: Character and Moral Luck. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1996.

Christopher, Russell. “Does Attempted Murder Deserve Greater Punishment Than Murder – Moral Luck and the Duty to Prevent Harm.” Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics, and Public Policy 18, no. 2 (2004): 419-35.

* Concepcion, David W. “Moral Luck, Control, and the Bases of Desert.” Journal of Value Inquiry 36, no. 4 (2002): 455-61.

* Cook, Walter Wheeler. “Act.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 123-5. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

* Coyne [Walker], Margaret Urban. “Moral Luck?” Journal of Value Inquiry 19 (1985): 319-25.

Davidson, Donald. Essays on Actions and Events. 2nd ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

* Davis, Michael. “Why Attempts Deserve Less Punishment Than Complete Crimes.” Law and Philosophy 5 (1986): 1-32.

Dennett, Daniel. Elbow Room. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1984.

———. “Get Real: Luck, Regret, and Kinds of Persons.” Philosophical Topics 22, no. 1&2 (1994): 558-62.

Dickenson, Donna. Risk and Luck in Medical Ethics. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2003.

* Domsky, Darren. “There Is No Door: Finally Solving the Problem of Moral Luck.” Journal of Philosophy 101, no. 9 (2004): 445-64.

* ———. “Tossing the Rotten Thing Out: Eliminating Bad Reasons Not to Solve the Problem of Moral Luck.” Philosophy 80, no. 314 (2005): 531-41.

Doris, John M. “Persons, Situations, and Virtue Ethics.” Nous 32, no. 4 (1998): 504-30.

* ———. Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.

* ———. “Precis of Lack of Character.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71, no. 3 (2005): 632-35.

* ———. “Replies: Evidence and Sensibility.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71, no. 3 (2005): 656-77.

* Dorter, Kenneth. “Free Will, Luck, and Happiness in the Myth of Er.” Journal of Philosophical Research 28 (2003): 129-42.

Dubber, Markus D. Criminal Law: Model Penal Code. New York: Foundation Press, 2002.

Duff, Antony. “Moral Luck.” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www/rep.routledge.com/article/L085.

———. “Auctions, Lotteries, and the Punishment of Attempts.” Law and Philosophy 9, no. 1 (1990): 1-37.

———. Intention, Agency and Criminal Liability. Oxford: Blackwell, 1990.

———. Criminal Attempts. New York: Clarendon Press, 1996.

———. “Attempts, Impossibility, and Intention: A Reply to Waluchow.” In Rights, Wrongs and Responsibilities, edited by Matthew H. Kramer, 119-47. New York: Palgrave, 2001.

Dunne, Jospeh. “Virtue, Phronesis, and Learning.” In Virtue Ethics and Moral Education, edited by David Carr and J. W. Steutel, 49-63. New York: Routledge, 1999.

* Edgerton, Henry. “The Relation of Mental States to Negligence.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 246-50. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

Eisikovits, Nir. “Moral Luck and the Criminal Law.” In Law and Social Justice, edited by Joseph Campbell, Michael O’Rourke and David Shier, 105-24. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2005.

* Elshof, Gregg Ten. “The Problem of Moral Luck and the Parable of the Land Owner.” Philosophia Christi 3, no. 1 (2001): 139-51.

Emanuel, Steven L., and William Behr. Torts. 5th ed. Larchmont, NY: Emanuel Law Outlines, 1994.

Emanuel, Steven L., and Renee Samuelson. Criminal Law. 3rd ed. Larchmont, NY: Emanuel Law Outlines, 1992.

* Enoch, David, and Andrei Marmor. “The Case against Moral Luck.” Law and Philosophy 206 (2007): 405-36.

* Eshleman, Andrew. “Moral Responsibility.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-responsibility/.

* Farwell, Paul. “Aristotle, Success, and Moral Luck.” Journal of Philosophical Research 19 (1994): 37-50.

* Feinberg, Joel. Doing and Deserving. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1970.

* Fingarette, Herbery. Heavy Drinking. Los Angeles: University of California Press 1989.

Foot, Philippa. Natural Goodness. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

———. Virtues and Vices. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

———. Moral Dilemmas. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

French, Peter A., ed. The Spectrum of Responsibility. New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1991.

———. Responsibility Matters. Lawrence, KA: University Press of Kansas, 1992.

Garver, Eugene. For the Sake of Argument: Practical Reasoning, Character, and the Ethics of Belief. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2004.

* Glannon, Walter. The Mental Basis of Responsibility. Burlington, VT: Ashgate, 2002.

* Glover, Jonathan. Responsibility. London: Routledge and Kagan Paul, 1970.

Goldberg, John C. P. , and Benjamin C. Zipursky. “Tort Law and Moral Luck.” Cornell Law Review 92 (2007): 1123-75.

Gough, Russell Wayne. Character Is Destiny. Rocklin, CA: Forum, 1998.

* Greco, John. “A Second Paradox Concerning Responsibility and Luck.” Metaphilosophy 26 (1995): 81-96.

* ———. “Virtue and Luck, Epistemic and Otherwise.” Metaphilosophy 34, no. 3 (2003): 353-66.

* ———. “Virtue, Luck and the Pyrrhonian Problematic.” Philosophical Studies 130, no. 1 (2006): 9-34.

* Haksar, Vinit. “Excuses and Voluntary Conduct.” Ethics 96 (1986): 317-29.

* Hall, Jerome. “Ignorance and Mistake.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 365-75. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

Harman, Gilbert. “Moral Philosophy Meets Social Psychology: Virtue Ethics and the Fundamental Attribution Error.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 99, no. 3 (1999): 315-31.

———. “The Nonexistence of Character Traits.” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 100, no. 1 (2000): 223-6.

———. “Virtue Ethics without Character Traits.” In Fact and Value, edited by Alex Byrne, Robert Stalnaker and Ralph Wedgewood, 117-27. Cambridge, MA: MIT Pres, 2001.

———. “No Character or Personality.” Business Ethics Quarterly 13, no. 1 (2003): 87-94.

———. “Skepticism About Character Traits.” In Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology: The Situationism Debate. University of Denver, 2007.

* Harper, Fowler, and Fleming James. “Legal Cause.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 313-25. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

* Hart, H. L. A. “Ascriptions of Responsibility.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 143-8. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

———. Punishment and Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press, 1968.

Helm, Charles, and Mario Morelli. “Stanley Migram and the Obedience Experiment: Authority, Legitimacy, and Human Action.” Political Theory 7, no. 3 (1979): 321-45.

* Homiak, Marcia. “Moral Character.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-character/.

* Honore, Antony. “Causation in the Law.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-law/.

* Hughes, Gerard. Aristotle on Ethics. New York: Routledge, 2001.

Hume, David. An Inquiry Concerning Human Understanding. New York: Macmillian, 1955.

Hurka, Thomas. “Virtuous Act, Virtuous Dispositions.” Analysis 66, no. 1 (2006): 69–76.

Hursthouse, Rosalind. On Virtue Ethics. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Husak, Douglas N. “Is Drunk Driving a Serious Offense?” Philosophy and Public Affairs 23, no. 1 (1994): 52-73.

* Irwin, T. H. “Reason and Responsibility in Aristotle.” In Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, 117-55. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.

———. “Virtue, Praise and Success: Stoic Reponses to Aristotle.” The Monist 72, no. 1 (1990): 59-79.

Jacobs, Jonathan. Choosing Character: Responsibility for Virtue and Vice. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2001.

* Jensen, Henning. “Morality and Luck.” In Moral Luck, edited by Daniel Statman, 131-40. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

Kadish, Sanford “The Criminal Law and the Luck of the Draw.” The Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 84, no. 4 (1994): 679-702.

* Kant, Immanuel. Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. Translated by Lewis White Beck. 2nd ed. New York: MacMillan, 1990.

Katz, Leo. Bad Acts and Guilty Minds. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987.

———. “Responsibility and Consent: The Libertarian’s Problems with Freedom of Contract.” Social Philosophy and Policy 16, no. 2 (1999): 94-117.

* ———. “Why the Successful Assassin Is More Wicked Than the Unsuccessful One.” California Law Review 88, no. 3 (2000): 791-812.

Keating, Gregory C. “Strict Liability and the Mitigation of Moral Luck.” In USC CLEO Research Paper No. C06-12, 2006.

Keeton, Page, and William Lloyd Prosser. Prosser and Keeton on the Law of Torts. 5th ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company, 1984.

* Kenny, Anthony. “Aristotle on Moral Luck.” In Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value, edited by Johnathan Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik and C. W. W. Taylor, 105-19. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1988.

* Kessler, Kimberly D. “The Role of Luck in the Criminal Law.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 142, no. 6 (1994): 2183-237.

Kionka, Edward J. Torts in a Nutshell. 2nd ed. St. Paul, MN: West Pubublishing Company, 1992.

Kosman, L. A. “On Being Properly Affected: Virtues and Feelings in Aristotle’s Ethics.” In Essays on Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, 103-16. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1980.

Kupperman, Joel. Character. New York: Oxford University Press, 1991.

* ———. “Virtues, Character, and Moral Dispositions.” In Virtue Ethics and Moral Education, edited by David Carr and J. W. Steutel, 199-209. New York: Routledge, 1999.

LaFave, Wayne R., and Austin W. Scott. Criminal Law. 2nd ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company, 1986.

* Latus, Andrew. “Moral and Epistemic Luck.” Journal of Philosophical Research 25 (2000): 149-72.

* ———. “Constitutive Luck.” Metaphilosophy 34, no. 4 (2003): 460-75.

* ———. “Moral Luck.” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www.iep.utm.edu/m/moralluc.htm.

* Leon, Mark. “Responsible Believers.” Monist 85, no. 3 (2002): 421-35.

* Levi, Don S. “What’s Luck Got to Do with It?” In Moral Luck, edited by Daniel Statman, 109-22. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

Levmore, Saul X. Foundations of Tort Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 1994.

Levy, Neil. “Self-Deception and Moral Responsibility.” Ratio 17, no. 3 (2004): 294-311.

———. “Good Character: Too Little, Too Late.” Journal of Mass Media Ethics 19, no. 2 (2004): 108-18.

Lewis, David. “The Punishment That Leaves Something to Chance.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 18, no. 1 (1989): 53-67.

Loewy, Arnold H. Criminal Law in a Nutshell. 2nd ed. St. Paul, MN: West Publishing Company, 1987.

Long, Roderick T. “The Irrelevance of Responsibility.” Social Philosophy and Policy 16, no. 2 (1999): 118-45.

* Lucas, J. R. Responsibility. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1993.

* Makkuni, Santosh. “Moral Luck and Practical Judgment.” Journal of Speculative Philosophy 10, no. 3 (1996): 199-209.

May, Larry. Sharing Responsibility. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992.

McKinnon, Christine. Character, Virtue Theories, and the Vices. Orchard Park, NY: Broadview Press, 1999.

McNamee, Stephen J., and Robert K. Miller. The Meritocracy Myth. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield, 2004.

* Melden, A. I. “Action.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 149-57. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

Merritt, Maria. “Virtue Ethics and Situationist Personality Psychology.” Ethical Theory & Moral Practice 4, no. 3 (2000): 365-83.

Meyer, Susan. Aristotle on Moral Responsibility. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1993.

* Milgram, Stanley. “The Perils of Obedience.” Harper’s Magazine, December 1973, 62-77.

———. Obedience to Authority. First Perennial Classics ed. New York: Harper-Collins, 2004.

Milo, Ronald D. Immorality. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1984.

Montmarquet, James A. Epistemic Virtue and Doxastic Responsibility. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 1993.

* Moody-Adams, Michele. “On the Old Saw That Character Is Destiny.” In Identity, Character, and Morality, edited by Owen J. Flanagan and Amelie Oksenberg Rorty, 111-31. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1990.

———. “Culture, Responsibility, and Affected Ignorance.” Ethics 104, no. 2 (1994): 291-309.

* Moore, A. W. “A Kantian View of Moral Luck.” Philosophy (1990).

* Moore, Michael S. “The Independent Moral Significance of Wrongdoing.” Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 5 (1994): 237-81.

———. Placing Blame: A General Theory of the Criminal Law. New York: Clarendon Press, 1997.

———. “Causation and Responsibility.” Social Philosophy and Policy 16, no. 2 (1999): 1-51.

* Nagel, Thomas. The View from Nowhere. New York: Oxford University Press, 1986.

* ———. “Moral Luck.” In Moral Luck, edited by Daniel Statman, 57-71. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

———. “Freedom.” In Free Will, edited by Gary Watson, 229-56. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

* Nelkin, Dana. “Moral Luck.” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-luck/.

———. “Freedom, Responsibility, and the Challenge of Situationalism.” In Free Will and Moral Responsibility, edited by Peter A. French, Howard K. Wettstein and John Martin Fischer, 181-206. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 2005.

* Nussbaum, Martha. “Luck and Ethics.” In Moral Luck, edited by Daniel Statman, 73-108. Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 1993.

———. The Fragility of Goodness. Revised ed. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001.

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O’Connor, Timothy. Persons and Causes. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

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* Ripstein, Arthur. “Equality, Luck, and Responsibility.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 23, no. 1 (1994): 3-23.

* Rosebury, Brian. “Moral Responsibility and Moral Luck.” Philosophical Review 104, no. 4 (1995): 499-524.

* Royzman, Edward, and Rahul Kumar. “Is Consequential Luck Morally Inconsequential? Empirical Psychology and the Reassessment of Moral Luck.” Ratio 17, no. 3 (2004): 329-44.

Sabini, John, and Maury Silver. Emotion, Character, and Responsibility. New York: Oxford University Press, 1998.

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* Schlossberger, Eugene. “Why We Are Responsible for Our Emotions.” Mind 95 (1986): 37-56.

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———. “The Fabric of Character.” In Aristotle’s Ethics, edited by Nancy Sherman. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 1999.

———. “Taking Responsibility for Our Emotions.” Social Philosophy and Policy 16, no. 2 (1999): 294-323.

Sherman, Nancy, and Heath White. “Intellectual Virtue: Emotions, Luck, and the Ancients.” In Intellectual Virtue: Perspectives from Ethics and Epistemology, edited by Michael DePaul and Linda Zagzebski, 34-53. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2003.

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* ———. “Justice as a Personal Virtue.” Social Theory and Practice 25, no. 3 (1999): 361-84.

* ———. Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality. New York: Rowman and Littlefield, 2000.

* ———. Ayn Rand’s Normative Ethics: The Virtuous Egoist. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006.

Solomon, Robert C. “Victims of Circumstances? A Defense of Virtue Ethics in Business.” Business Ethics Quarterly 13, no. 1 (2003): 43-62.

* ———. “What’s Character Got to Do with It?” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71, no. 3 (2005): 648-55.

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* ———. “The Time to Punish and the Problem of Moral Luck.” Journal of Applied Philosophy 14, no. 2 (1997): 129-35.

* ———. “Moral Luck.” Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, http://www/rep.routledge.com/article/L057.

* ———. “Doors, Keys, and Moral Luck: A Reply to Domsky.” Journal of Philosophy 102, no. 8 (2005): 422-36.

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* ———. “Recklessness.” In Freedom and Responsibility, edited by Herbert Morris, 262-7. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1961.

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Zimbardo, Philip G. The Lucifer Effect : Understanding How Good People Turn Evil. New York: Random House, 2007.

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* ———. The Concept of Moral Obligation. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1996.

———. “Controlling Ignorance: A Bitter Truth.” Journal of Social Philosophy 33, no. 3 (2002): 483-90.

Zipursky, Benjamin C. “Two Dimensions of Responsibility in Crime, Tort and Moral Luck.” Theoretical Inquiries in Law 9 (2007): 281-321.

Prospectus: Works Cited

 Posted by on 20 December 2007 at 9:00 am  Moral Luck, Philosophy, Prospectus
Dec 202007
 

This post contains the works cited of my dissertation prospectus, written in pursuit of my Ph.D in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and submitted to my committee in early December 2007. The full prospectus is available in PDF format and as an MS Word file. Comments and questions are welcome. While they won’t change the prospectus, they might be of use as I write the dissertation over the next year.

Works Cited

Annas, J. (2005). “Comments on John Doris’s Lack of Character.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 71(3): 636-642.

Appeals Court of New York. (1961). “Palsgraf v. Long Island Railroad Company, 248 N.Y. 339, 162 N.E.” Freedom and Responsibility. H. Morris. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press: 285-91.

Aquinas, T. (1993). Commentary on Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Notre Dame, Ind., Dumb Ox Books.

Aristotle. Nicomachean Ethics. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.

Athanassoulis, N. (2005). “Common-Sense Virtue Ethics and Moral Luck.” Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8(3): 265-276.

Binswanger, H. (1991). “Volition as Cognitive Self-Regulation.” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 50: 154-178.

Bostock, D. (2000). Aristotle’s Ethics. New York, Oxford University Press.

Broadie, S. (1991). Ethics with Aristotle. New York, Oxford University Press.

Browne, B. (1992). “A Solution to the Problem of Moral Luck.” Philosophical Quarterly 42(168): 345-356.

Davidson, D. (2001). Essays on Actions and Events. New York, Oxford University Press.

Doris, J. M. (2002). Lack of Character: Personality and Moral Behavior. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.

Feinberg, J. (1970). Doing and Deserving. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.

Fingarette, H. (1989). Heavy Drinking. Los Angeles, University of California Press

Greco, J. (2006). “Virtue, Luck and the Pyrrhonian Problematic.” Philosophical Studies 130(1): 9-34.

Honore, A. (2005). “Causation in the Law.” Retrieved 28 November, 2007, from http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/causation-law/.

Kant, I. (1990). Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals. New York, MacMillan.

Kenny, A. (1988). “Aristotle on Moral Luck.” Human Agency: Language, Duty, and Value. J. Dancy, J. M. E. Moravcsik and C. W. W. Taylor. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press: 105-19.

Kessler, K. D. (1994). “The Role of Luck in the Criminal Law.” University of Pennsylvania Law Review 142(6): 2183-2237.

Latus, A. (2000). “Moral and Epistemic Luck.” Journal of Philosophical Research 25: 149-172.

Latus, A. (2003). “Constitutive Luck.” Metaphilosophy 34(4): 460-475.

Latus, A. (2005). “Moral Luck.” Retrieved 13 June, 2007, from http://www.iep.utm.edu/m/moralluc.htm.

Milgram, S. (1973). “The Perils of Obedience.” Harper’s Magazine: 62-77.

Moody-Adams, M. (1990). “On the Old Saw that Character is Destiny.” Identity, Character, and Morality. O. J. Flanagan and A. O. Rorty. Cambridge, MA, MIT Press: 111-31.

Moore, M. S. (1994). “The Independent Moral Significance of Wrongdoing.” Journal of Contemporary Legal Issues 5: 237-81.

Morris, H., Ed. (1961). Freedom and Responsibility. Stanford, CA, Stanford University Press.

Nagel, T. (1986). The View from Nowhere. New York, Oxford University Press.

Nagel, T. (1993). “Moral Luck.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 57-71.

Ollila, M. R. (1993). “Moral Luck: ‘A Pseudoproblem’.” Praxiology 2: 17-26.

Rescher, N. (1993). “Moral Luck.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 141-166.

Richards, N. (1993). “Luck and Desert.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 167-180.

Ripstein, A. (1994). “Equality, Luck, and Responsibility.” Philosophy and Public Affairs 23(1): 3-23.

Rosebury, B. (1995). “Moral Responsibility and Moral Luck.” Philosophical Review 104(4): 499-524.

Royzman, E. and R. Kumar (2004). “Is Consequential Luck Morally Inconsequential? Empirical Psychology and the Reassessment of Moral Luck.” Ratio 17(3): 329-344.

Sartorio, C. (2004). “How to Be Responsible for Something without Causing It.” Nous Supplement 18: 315-336.

Smith, T. (1995). Moral Rights and Political Freedom. Lanham, MD, Rowman and Littlefield.

Smith, T. (1999). “Justice as a Personal Virtue.” Social Theory and Practice 25(3): 361-84.

Thomson, J. J. (1993). “Morality and Bad Luck. ” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 195-216.

Urmson, J. O. (1988). Aristotle’s Ethics. New York, Basil Blackwell.

Walker, M. U. (1993). “Moral Luck and the Virtues of Impure Agency.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 235-250.

Williams, B. (1993). “Moral Luck.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 35-56.

Wolf, S. (2001). “The Moral of Moral Luck.” Philosophic Exchange 31: 4-19.

Zimmerman, M. J. (1986). “Negligence and Moral Responsibility.” Nous 20: 199-218.

Zimmerman, M. J. (1993). “Luck and Moral Responsibility.” Moral Luck. D. Statman. Albany, NY, SUNY Press: 217-234.

Prospectus: Part 10

 Posted by on 19 December 2007 at 8:48 am  Moral Luck, Philosophy, Prospectus
Dec 192007
 

This post contains Part 10 (“The Dissertation”) of my dissertation prospectus, written in pursuit of my Ph.D in philosophy at the University of Colorado at Boulder and submitted to my committee in early December 2007. The full prospectus is available in PDF format and as an MS Word file. Comments and questions are welcome. While they won’t change the prospectus, they might be of use as I write the dissertation over the next year.

The Dissertation

As this sketch of my main arguments hopefully shows, Nagel’s problem of moral luck is neither easily solved nor intractable. However, the development and application of the broadly Aristotelian theory of moral responsibility I’ve outlined here promises to unravel and explain the various puzzling cases of moral luck in a way generally consistent with common sense moral judgments.

I plan to use the structure of the prospectus in the dissertation itself. At present, I imagine the following chapters:

  • Chapter One: The Problem of Moral Luck: I will outline the general problem of moral luck and explain the threat it poses to our ordinary practices of moral judgment. I may also consider the support it lends to egalitarianism. I will sketch my proposed solution to the problem of moral luck.
  • Chapter Two: Attempted Solutions: I will examine the most prominent global solutions to the problem of moral luck in the philosophic literature, exploring how and why they fail.
  • Chapter Three: Faulty Foundations: I will argue that a theoretical re-examination of the foundations of moral responsibility is required, particularly in light of Nagel’s operative ideal of noumenal agency.
  • Chapter Four: Moral Judgment: I will examine the purposes served by and demands of normative judgments (in general) and moral judgments (in particular). Moral judgments, I will argue, must be limited to the voluntary aspects of a person. I will also survey the nature and epistemic grounds of various kinds of moral judgments, e.g., of actions, character, and products. I will develop a general account of the purposes and demands of moral redemption and atonement after wrongdoing.
  • Chapter Five: Moral Responsibility: I will identify and defend the basic standards for moral responsibility for actions, i.e., the epistemic and control conditions. In the process, I will offer a basic account of human agency, particularly focusing on the nature and limits of human free will. I will consider the effect of voluntary ignorance and incapacity on claims of moral responsibility. I will examine the various meanings of “responsibility,” particularly whether any common features unify them.
  • Chapter Six: Luck in Life: I will examine the nature of luck and its general role in human life, particularly in morality.
  • Chapter Seven: Resultant Moral Luck: I will present the core cases of resultant luck (i.e., attempt, negligence, and uncertainty), then evaluate the common attempted solutions. I will explain and defend my conditions for moral responsibility for outcomes, then apply those conditions to the cases of resultant moral luck. I will also substantially expand on my account of moral redemption and atonement in relation to the cases of resultant moral luck.
  • Chapter Eight: Circumstantial Moral Luck: I will present the core cases of circumstantial moral luck, i.e., actions in circumstances, moral tests and dilemmas, and interrupted intentions. I will consider the noteworthy attempts to solve this form of moral luck. I will show that actions in circumstances are voluntary and worthy of judgment. I will consider the various ways in which moral judgments must take account of circumstances to be just, including in hard cases like action under duress and moral dilemmas. I will also critically examine the skepticism about global character traits engendered by recent work in empirical psychology to determine whether that lends credible support to the case for circumstantial moral luck.
  • Chapter Nine: Constitutive Moral Luck: I will present the basic forms of constitutive moral luck: entrenched moral feelings, genetic foundations of character, childhood influences on developing character, and accidental influences on adult character. Then, as before, I will consider noteworthy attempted solutions. I will argue that an adult is properly held responsible for his moral character so long as that that character is a voluntary product of his voluntary actions. I will then consider the particular complexities of each of the forms of constitutive moral luck to determine whether they undermine or limit moral responsibility for character. I will also consider the question of responsibility for emotions, including whether some emotions are properly considered part of a person’s moral character.
  • Chapter Ten: Further Applications: I will consider the further implications and applications of my theory of moral responsibility, such as the justice of the felony murder rule, the responsibility of parents for the actions of children, responsibility for long-past actions, etc.

    Although I have touched on many of these topics in the prospectus, I will only be able to consider them in adequate depth in the dissertation.

    Go to Works Cited or the Proposed Bibliography.

    (That’s all, folks! I hope that you found that of interest!)

  • Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha