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Thomas Nagel and Moral Luck

As a rule, lots of moral theorists have ignored the connection between morality and luck. The sense of the conflict lies in the fact that luck can completely impair the moral judgment. But firstly it is necessary to give the explanation what luck is. Definitely, the term of luck consists of four main concepts – some values, lack of control, subjectivity and the element of a chance. For example, man finds the fifty dollar bill while walking out of the library and this event creates the winning sensation in his everyday life. The man feels happiness and luck. The scenario of this event is completely out of his control, he can’t influence on it. Of course, this lucky man thinks that it is completely normal and good thing, which happened with him. From the other hand, the man could consider this event from the other side, having negative feelings. Obviously, man could interpret this sudden luck from the both good and bad sides, which depend on his state and mood of that certain moment.

Famous and practical theorists call this thing as the principle of chance. The man from our example was lucky to be at the required place and at the correct time. And these circumstances allowed him to find and take this money. But it is almost one in 50 billion chances, that it may happen to him.

Thomas Nagel describes this issue in his work “Moral Luck”. The author describes the moral luck as the considerable aspect of what person does depends on factor which is beyond his control, but we still keep treating this in that respect as an object of moral judgment. Thomas Nagel explains that there are definitely four different kinds of moral luck, which influence on the moral judgement of people. The author notices the circumstantial luck, constitutive luck, resultant luck and causal luck. In this work Thomas Nagel gives the definition of every of these kinds and demonstrates the examples of the each of them. The important thing which should be kept in mind is that person’s actions are not being assessed in the certain cases. The same case can be judged and critiqued by the person. It doesn’t prove that whether the murderer is bad, but the murder is bad. The author also pays a lot of attention to the resultant luck. This is the result of the certain action or intent which involves the outside factors which are not under the person’s control. The human doesn’t wait for something, but if he/she comes at the correct place and time, something happens, and only this person determines the attitude to this.

As a rule, lots of moral theorists have ignored the connection between morality and luck. The sense of the conflict lies in the fact that luck can completely impair the moral judgment. But firstly it is necessary to give the explanation what luck is. Definitely, the term of luck consists of four main concepts – some values, lack of control, subjectivity and the element of a chance.

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27 October 2016
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28 October 2016
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