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Moral Responsibility, Luck, and Compatibilism

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Abstract

In this paper, I defend a version of compatibilism (about determinism and moral responsibility) against luck-related objections. After introducing the types of luck that some take to be problematic for moral responsibility, I consider and respond to two recent attempts to show that compatibilism faces the same problem of luck that libertarianism faces—present (or cross-world) luck. I then consider a different type of luck—constitutive luck—and provide a new solution to this problem. One upshot of the present discussion is a reason to prefer a history-sensitive compatibilist account over a purely nonhistorical structuralist account.

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks to John Fischer and Al Mele for several rounds of comments on and conversations about this paper. Thanks also to Gabriel de Marco, Matt Flummer, Mirja Pérez de Calleja, Jordan Wolf, and the members of the Agency Workshop and at the University of California, Riverside, Zac Bachman, Dave Beglin, Patrick London, Meredith McFadden, Jonah Nagashima, and Michael Nelson, for helpful thoughts on earlier drafts of this paper. Thanks also to audiences at the 2013 Pacific APA, the 2012 Florida Philosophical Association meeting, the 2012 Alabama Philosophical Society meeting, and the Graduate Student Writing Workshop at Florida State University for comments on an earlier version of this paper. Finally, special thanks also to three anonymous reviewers for their thorough and very helpful comments on the paper. I was lucky (but not problematically so) to have so much help!

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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of California, RiversideRiversideUSA

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