In his Moral Luck, Thomas Nagel examines intriguing and important issues related to the use of Kant’s ethics. Nagel reveals the meaning of responsibility assumption, namely moral beliefs of that a person cannot be morally condemned, because it is not his fault or for something that is not controlled by him. However, the author notes that the real moral positions are directly dependent on the consequences of human actions, even if they are mostly in the form of randomness. Moral Luck describes the principle of action in this situation – accidents, which are endowed with moral weight, are opposite to the widespread assumption of responsibility. Moral luck and failure should be mentioned only when the aspect of human action depends on uncontrollable factors.
The Subject of Moral Luck
The subject of moral luck consists of four reasonable means.
- First, Nagel considers success issues on “how everything goes”.
- Second, Nagel discusses good luck as a structural factor such as human abilities or temperament. These factors are usually morally important, but they are often corrected by external factors.
- Thirdly, Nagel shows luck in certain circumstances as factors beyond human control exercise decisive moral impact on moral test which people face. Finally, Nagel stresses at the person’s choice in the specific circumstances. Thus, the action of the human will defines moral luck.
- The issue of moral luck cannot be solved quickly or even has no any solution. The author emphasizes the impossibility of refusing the thought of control over the external factors that are related to the created moral act. This opinion is an erroneous judgment about specific cases, but it is intuitively plausible.
Thus, in philosophical thinking, you can ignore all factors beyond the control of the position and form provisions based on controlled factors as well as reject the resolution after receipt of philosophical reflection. However, there is the inability of a good act creation of this resolution, because some factors cannot be under the power of moral luck. In the end, Nagel argues that with the existence of the solution to the problem, it can be found only through the formation of fine understanding of will freedom.