Total text length is 8,070 characters (approximately 5.6 pages). Thomas Nagel's Mortal Questions explores some fundamental issues concerning the meaning, nature and value of human life. There is philosophical controversy regarding the compatibility (or incompatibility) of determinism and free will. pp. Continuity of Parks. Although none of these solutions seems entirely satisfactory, one of them must be correct. First, there are those who would have us reject the control principle in order to preserve the way we practice moral assessment.2 Second, there are those who would have us alter the way we practice moral assessment in order to preserve the control principle.3, If neither of those options seems plausible, one could give up on the possibility of moral assessment altogether or embrace a revisionist solution. 1000-Word Philosophy: An Introductory Anthology, Author: Jonathan Spelman 141--166 (1993) Authors Thomas Nagel New York University ... Constitutive Moral Luck and Strawson's Argument for the Impossibility of Moral Responsibility. Can two people who make the same bad decision bear different levels of moral responsibility? http://jonathanspelman.com. While affirming the truth of the control principle on which people cannot be morally assessed for what is due to factors beyond their control, Williams argues that people can yet be ethically assessed for what is due to factors beyond their control. Robert Lipsyte. Because the only difference between them is attributable to factors, In “Moral Luck,” Thomas Nagel describes the motivation for denying the existence of moral luck. If someone has a naturally optimistic disposition and character, she possesses which kind of moral luck? Adams, Robert Merrihew. Wolf, Susan. Thomas Nagel opposes attempts to "reduce" consciousness and mental actions to material explanations.Like Peter Strawson, he is concerned about "objective" accounts of mind that try to view a mind externally.He holds that the internal or subjective view contains an irreducible element without which we lose the autonomous agent. Now, in the moral case, the structure is no different. 11 (November 2002): 553-576. Adams, Robert Merrihew. The bartender, however, is only interested in one of them. And a bad will deserves all the blame we will heap on it. ( Log Out /  1 Whether we are naturally sociable or irritable, whether While you may initially have been tempted to regard the teenager as morally worse than my friend, after carefully considering that the results of my friend’s actions were better due to purely lucky factors, you might be willing to reevaluate the moral situation. The good will is not good because of what it effects or accomplishes or because of its adequacy to achieve some proposed end; it is good only  Against Nagel, I will defend Kant’s idea and claim that that the proper object of our moral judgments is the will and not the outcome of our willed actions. Given these details, you might be tempted to think that the teenager is morally worse than my friend because the results of his actions were worse than the results of my friend’s actions. Constitutive moral luck exists if how good one is can depend on one’s character traits, even when one’s character traits are due to factors beyond one’s control. Now, in epistemology, it is often held that on the justified true belief conception of knowledge, knowledge is impossible because no subject is in the position to know whether or not her beliefs are in agreement with the object that they are about.  Since no singular belief satisfies the JTB conception of knowledge, no singular act of believing is or could be an act of knowing.   From this, it is thought to extend generally such that there can in principle be no knowing subject, or stated differently, no subject with a power to know.  This can be named the ‘argument from fallibility’, it states that:                 A power vulnerable to malfunction is not a functional power. Nagel, Thomas. 2 (Winter, 1972), 123-144. Nagel identifies this as a philosophical problem, because in his account "there are roughly four ways in which the natural objects of moral assessment are disturbingly subject to luck" (451). Thomas Nagel’s contribution in the field of philosophy is about moral luck. Category: Ethics ‘What if one is born with a wicked will?’ we might ask.  Clearly in such a case the formation of this will is not under one’s antecedent control in the same way that the drunk driver’s choice to drive recklessly is. Fyodor Dostoevsky. The human intellect has this power even if circumstance dictates that now one believes falsely that-p.  That circumstance conspires to allow the agent to believe truly that p obtains or does not obtain is subject to luck but that the agent is able to know through this process of belief correction is itself not subject to luck.  As with the fish’s power to swim, the human’s power to know is not something that happens to the human – chance has no say in the matter – but something which constitutes the human as human.  A human that has no intellect is not a human.  Thus, the human has a power of knowledge even when it is prevented from knowing. While my brother and I were growing up, our father would tell us stories from his time as a police officer. For luck is something that happens to one, while morality is no such thing. As Nagel admits, the control principle is quite plausible. To see exactly how the challenge arises, let us begin with … Thomas Nagel. Excerpts from the Paper The beginning: Critical Summary of Thomas Nagel’s “Moral Luck” The following paper is a brief 1200 word critical summary of Thomas Nagel’s essay, “Moral Luck,” as provided in our course reading materials. In the epistemic case, the human agent enjoys, through its intellect, the power to gain knowledge about its world and its own place in this world. Both find the bartender attractive, and each is willing to cheat on her husband with the bartender. a. Circumstantial luck b. Constitutive luck c. Luck in consequences d. Luck in belief. The good will is such that it acts according to principles productive of what it is right to do.  If, acting from the good will, an agent brings it about that something terrible occurs, then, though luck plays a role in the outcome of the action and the state of affairs that obtains, luck has no say in whether or not the acting agent’s will is good or bad.  The will is not something that happens to one, but rather it is constitutive of what that person is.  The morality of the agent cannot be assessed apart from the morality of the will.  Thus, she who acts from a good will who does wrong is no less moral than she who acts from a good will who does right.  And she who acts from a bad will who does right is no less morally blameworthy than she who acts from a bad will and does wrong. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. What Nagel argues in a famous essay called ‘Moral Luck’ is that, on closer examination, ‘Ultimately, nothing or almost nothing about what a person does seems to be under his control’. “The Case against Moral Luck.” Law and Philosophy 26, no. Thomas Nagel, "Moral Luck" Which of the following is NOT a kind of moral luck that Nagel describes? 378 (April 1986): 198-209. 1047 Words 5 Pages. Alan Paton. “Luck and Desert.” Mind 95, no. Jonathan is a visiting assistant professor of philosophy at Ohio Northern University. You might then conclude that the teenager and my friend are moral equals, neither any relevantly worse than the other. By this point, it should be clear that the control principle is incompatible with the way we practice moral assessment. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. Scenario 2 is what we would call Moral luck. Moral Luck In Thomas Nagel's View Of Moral Luck 721 Words | 3 Pages. If this is what you think, then you believe in the existence of moral luck, for you believe that how good a person is can depend on factors beyond one’s control (e.g., the safety features of the vehicle one hits, the physical condition of that vehicle’s passengers, whether those passengers are wearing seatbelts, etc.). You can view samples of our professional work here. Williams calls moral luck an oxymoron, but his partner Nagel, manages to identify a legitimate ‘Control Principle’: “CP: We are morally assessable only to the extent that what we are assessed for depends on factors under our control.”- Thomas Nagel, Moral Luck. He received his PhD in philosophy from the University of Colorado Boulder, and he specializes in normative ethics and metaethics. 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