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A virtue theoretic solution to the problem of moral luck

Author: Jonathan Trevor Spelman
Publisher: St. Louis, Mo. : University of Missouri--St. Louis, ©2010.
Dissertation: M.A. University of Missouri--St. Louis 2010
Edition/Format:   Thesis/dissertation : Document : Thesis/dissertation : eBook   Computer File : English
Summary:
At the beginning of his famous paper "Moral Luck", Thomas Nagel notes that it is intuitively plausible that people cannot be morally assessed for what is beyond their control. He then argues that most, if not all, of what people do is beyond their control. Thus, Nagel concludes that individuals must deny that people cannot be morally assessed for what is beyond their control, alter the way they think about morality,  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic dissertations
Electronic books
Academic theses
Criticism, interpretation, etc
Named Person: Thomas Nagel; Michael J Zimmerman; Thomas Nagel
Material Type: Document, Thesis/dissertation, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Jonathan Trevor Spelman
OCLC Number: 658201507
Notes: Title from title page of PDF (University of Missouri--St. Louis, viewed Aug. 26, 2010).
Description: 1 online resource (60 pages)
Responsibility: by Jonathan Trevor Spelman.

Abstract:

At the beginning of his famous paper "Moral Luck", Thomas Nagel notes that it is intuitively plausible that people cannot be morally assessed for what is beyond their control. He then argues that most, if not all, of what people do is beyond their control. Thus, Nagel concludes that individuals must deny that people cannot be morally assessed for what is beyond their control, alter the way they think about morality, or abandon the belief that moral assessment is possible. I contend that one's best option is to alter the way one thinks about morality and therefore draw from the work of Michael J. Zimmerman to construct and defend a counterfactual theory of moral assessment which looks not only at the kind of person one is and the kinds of actions one performs but also at the kind of person one would be and the kinds of actions one would perform in certain counterfactual circumstances. In closing, I explain why one who accepts my counterfactual theory of moral assessment has reason to prefer virtue ethical theories of morality to their consequentialist and deontological counterparts.

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