Visiting Speaker Philosophy Seminar
Speaker: Matthew Smith (University of Leeds)
Title: Reliance and Responsibility
Abstract: The problem of moral luck is the problem of conflicting intuitions: on the one hand, it seems that simply due to luck, we can end up blameworthy or praiseworthy for certain states of affairs, but on the other hand, it seems that we are blameworthy and praiseworthy only for those things over which we have control, and not for those things that happen only by chance. Unfortunately, not much headway has been made resolving this conflict. This paper attempts to reframe the debate as one about the relationship between luck and responsibility, as opposed to the relationship between luck and blameworthiness or praiseworthiness. I argue that necessarily luck is implicated in responsibility, but that we also must allow for factors beyond our control determining what we are responsible for. The way to bring these two intuitions together is by way of exploration of the way in which reliance as a practical attitude is necessary for the realization of agency. This essay undertakes that task.
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