Moral Luck, the Failure of Control, and the Ability and Contribution Theory
We do not want arbitrariness in our moral judgments. In the first half of my thesis, I will discuss moral luck and the problem it poses for assigning moral responsibility in a non-arbitrary manner. Once I have discussed this problem, I will present one general model, which I will call the “Control Theory,” for how to resolve this issue that I take to be an intuitive solution because it upholds the traditional line of thought that agents should only be held morally accountable for what they can control. In order to fully discuss this model, I will establish a conceptual framework of what it means to “control” a decision or the outcome of an action. Following this, I will describe three versions of the Control Theory in order to provide the idea of assigning moral responsibility based on control the strongest possible chance for success. I will argue against these three frameworks that are based on control and will discuss the implications of the failure of using control to successfully resolve the problem of assigning moral responsibility in cases involving moral luck. In the second half of my thesis, I will present one response to the problem of assigning moral responsibility in cases involving moral luck, the Responsibility by Ability Theory, and I will then describe the limitations of this theory. This will lead me to modify the Responsibility by Ability Theory to form the Responsibility by Ability and Contribution Theory, which I will then defend as a viable solution to the issue of assigning moral responsibility in cases involving moral luck.
CitationMetz, Joseph (2012). Moral Luck, the Failure of Control, and the Ability and Contribution Theory. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10161/6604.
More InfoShow full item record
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Rights for Collection: Undergraduate Honors Theses and Student papers