Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Arts

Major

Philosophy

Date of Defense

11-14-2008

Graduate Advisor

John Brunero

Committee

Anna Alexandrova

Eric Wiland

Abstract

The problem of moral luck arises out of a tension between our intuitions and our everyday practices. Many of us share the intuition that morality is immune to luck. However, there are many cases in which we seem to rightly blame one person more than another even though the only relevant difference between the two is due to factors beyond their control. Most philosophers who have written about moral luck fall into one of two categories: those who affirm moral luck and those who affirm the control principle. Those who affirm the existence of moral luck generally believe that an agent can deserve moral praise or blame for things which depend in large part on factors beyond her control. Their opposition, those who affirm the control principle, generally believe that agents are only morally blameworthy or praiseworthy for what is under their control. Many of the articles written on moral luck aim to demonstrate the incoherence of one of the two views. The aim of this paper is to defend the control principle against some of the strongest attacks levied against it. It is my hope that by defending the control principle against the strongest opposition it will become clear that despite appearances, there is no such thing as moral luck.

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