Mundane as it is, the concept of luck nonetheless plays a pivotal role in central areas of philosophy, either because it is the key element of widespread philosophical theses or because it gives rise to challenging puzzles. Levy (2011: chap. Some authors opt for giving accounts of luck that mix modal or probabilistic conditions with lack of control conditions. What also makes a difference is where the critical element is put in the narrative that describes the series of events: in the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. Stoutenburg gives an evidential account of degrees of luck. Latus’s hybrid view features a lack of control condition and a subjective probabilistic condition: H1: A significant event E is lucky for an agent S at time t if only if, (i) just before the occurrence of E at t, S had a low degree of belief that E would occur at t, and (ii) E is beyond S’s control at t. By contrast, Coffman (2007) and Levy (2011) opt for conjoining a lack of control condition with modal conditions. Fernando Broncano-Berrocal argues that luck is a particular kind of risk. Pritchard, Duncan. The reason given by Ballantyne is that if the event’s effect is not on the agent’s mental states, it is not obvious why clause (i) is required. First, why not apply a modus tollens rather than a modus ponens? Call the kind of luck denoted by (1) and (2) relational luck and the kind of luck denoted by (3) and (4) non-relational luck—Milburn uses different terminology: he employs the expression “subjective-relative luck” to refer to relational luck and “subjective-involving luck” to refer to non-relational luck when the relevant event concerns an agent’s action. In the same way, as causally relevant intentional action prevents an event from being an accident, causally relevant intentional action seems to prevent a pair of events—someone’s flipping of the coin and the coin landing heads—from being a coincidence. In view of it, Hales (2014) argues that probabilistic analyses cannot account for lucky necessities, which are maximally probable. In his way, having good health or a good financial situation are instances of fortune, not of luck, while winning a fair lottery is only an instance of luck. Learn more about Locke’s life and career. But, consistently with what modal accounts say, that person goes to Paris in most of those worlds. A reply might be that, although the fact that the man’s brain is put in a vat does not affect the man’s interior life and namely his phenomenal mental states, it certainly affects his representational mental states. In fact, some theorists think that the connection is so close that they think that the former can be explained in terms of the latter—see Broncano-Berrocal (2015), Coffman (2007), Pritchard (2014; 2015), and Williamson (2009) for relevant discussion. Knowledge, luck, and control. 2013. Cases like this motivate philosophers who theorize about the concept of luck to endorse a significance condition, that is, a requirement to the effect that an event is lucky for an agent only if the event is significant to the agent. Riggs admits that although it is true that many nomic necessities—for example, sunrises—are beyond our control, we can still exploit them to our advantage. According to Pritchard, the only two minor differences between the two notions are, on the one hand, that risk is typically associated to negative events, whereas luck can be predicated of both negative and positive events; on the other, that while we can talk of very low levels of risk, we cannot so clearly talk of low levels of luck. The epistemic analysis of luck. (p. 113) Thus, we can control our own luck by controlling the extent to which we have opportunities to suffer from good or bad luck. According to Coffman, that person can be properly described as being lucky if her stay in the deterministic world corresponds to the predetermined temporal interval in which the ball would remain balanced on the cone’s tip. According to Pritchard (2014), the relevant initial conditions for an event are specific enough to allow a correct assessment of the luckiness of the target event, but not so specific as to guarantee its occurrence. Hales gives three kind of counterexamples to probabilistic, modal, and lack of control accounts of luck. Riggs thinks that, while B is lucky to be released, A is not. But SP4 might still not yield the right results. After all, there are similar attributions of luck in ordinary speech. By contrast, McKinnon (2013; 2014) argues that while we can determine the presence and degree of diachronic luck—for example, luck in a streak of successful performances—we do not have the ability to determine the presence of synchronic luck—that is, whether a concrete performance is by luck. For example, if Jack the Ripper is terrorizing the neighborhood and it is one’s dearest friend Bob knocking on one’s door, one might be lucky that Bob is not Jack the Ripper, but it is metaphysically impossible that Bob is Jack the Ripper because things are self-identical—Hales gives credit to John Hawthorne for the example. It seems that Mary is at most fortunate, but not at risk and also not lucky with respect to this -- even though she may be lucky to have run into and married a person like Sam. In particular, he argues that if two risk events E1 and E2 have the same probability of occurring but E1 is such that its occurrence is easily possible, E1 is riskier than E2, but the probabilistic account is committed to say that they are equally risky. Modal accounts accordingly explain luck in terms of the notion of easy possibility. For Broncano-Berrocal, the modal and probabilistic accounts of event-relative risk are both correct: while the probabilistic conception is the one that is typically used or assumed in scientific and technical contexts, the modal conception better fits our everyday thinking about risky events. In philosophy, this interest has tended to focus not upon luck simpliciter but rather upon the role that luck plays in ethical and epistemological debates concerning (respectively) moral and epistemic luck. For example, if it is by bad luck that a manufacturing company fails to achieve its yearly revenue goal—so it is bad luck for the company—it does not necessary follow that each and every one of its workers—for example, people working on the assembly line—are also unlucky, if, say, they cannot be fired by law and the company is not compromised. D. 2014. It will be of great interest and use to anyone working in epistemology, philosophy of action, ethics, social and political philosophy, and the history of philosophy. Start studying Nagel: Moral Luck. The following preliminary remarks will address three questions: (1) What are the bearers of luck? In knowing something, one could not be wrong about it. Suppose that someone is the most wanted person in the galaxy and that billions of mercenaries are trying to kill her, but also that her combat skills drastically reduce the probability that each independent assassination attempt will succeed. Williamson, Timothy. So while there is luck involved in the circumstances of the discovery, the discovery itself is merely fortunate. Milburn is right in pointing out that this marks an important distinction that anyone in the business of analyzing luck should keep in mind. On the other hand, advocates of the subjective approach might explain borderline cases of luck by appealing to the fact that the relevant subjective probabilities are not always transparent, so if we cannot determine whether an event is lucky or non-lucky, it is plausibly because the relevant subjective probabilities cannot be determined either. Relational versus non-relational luck. While S2 does not say whether these need to be the qualitative states of sentient beings, or their representational states, or their physical condition, S3 is explicit that what lucky events affect are the subjective and objective interests of individuals. One key element of McKinnon’s view—and the reason why she rejects any attempt to give an account of synchronic luck—is that she thinks that, while we can know that the set of outcomes that deviate from the expected ratio are due to luck, we cannot know which one of the outcomes in that set is by luck. This raises the question whether … People are systematically mistaken about logic, about probability theory, about statistics, and so on, so why couldn't they be systematically mistaken about such a thing as luck? Learn. If the actual ratio is as expected, the ratio is fully attributable to skill. The inverse proportionality thesis accounts for the difference: surviving is such a significant event that the proportion of close possible worlds in which one dies needs not be large for one’s actual survival to be considered lucky. From Pritchard’s example, we might infer that if an agent acts with the intention of bringing about some result, then if it occurs, it is not an accident. If two people act in the same way but the consequences of one of their actions are worse due to luck, should we morally assess them in the same way? For example, we say things such as “S is lucky to live in an earthquake-free region” even though S ignores it and is therefore lucky that an earthquake will not make her house collapse. In ordinary parlance, it is common to attribute different degrees of luck to different events. Baumann defends an objective probabilistic condition. For instance, when the relevant event is an action by the agent—for example, that S scores a goal—the luck-involving expressions in (3) and (4) apply to the agent—for example, it is a matter of luck that S scores a goal—but fail to establish a relationship between the agent—S—and the event—S’s scoring of a goal. It might be thought that lucky events are events whose occurrence was not predetermined in that way. On the other hand, the expected ratio of a certain basketball player’s free-throw shots being successful might be of 90 percent. Broncano-Berrocal's account, however, implies that Mary is at risk with respect to whether or not Sam is faithful to her, since she has an interest in him being faithful, it would be objectively bad if he were unfaithful to her, and whether he is faithful is beyond her control. Steglich-Petersen (2010) thinks that one way to fix this problem is to formulate a subjective view in terms of the agent’s total knowledge instead of her degree of belief or evidence for the occurrence of the event: SP4: A significant event E is lucky for an agent S at time t if only if, for all S knew just before the occurrence of E at t, there was low probability that E would occur at t. SP4 is compatible with an event being lucky for the agent when she has no prior evidence or doxastic state about its occurrence. Latus gives a hybrid account of luck that features subjective probabilistic and lack of control conditions and uses the account to show that the concept of constitutive luck is not incoherent. 1969. But do we think that a would-be murderer whose attempts are foiled by chance is really less morally culpable than someone who happens to succeed? There is a close connection between the concepts of luck and risk. 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