Before turning to a different type of probabilistic accounts, let us see how accounts modeling luck in terms of objective probability explain the three general features of luck outlined above. Among Ancient philosophers such as Aristotle attention was given to the extent to which a person's character and flourishing depended on luck or, putting it differently, depended on factors outside a … Suppose that (i) A buries a treasure at location L and that (ii) B independently places a plant in the ground of L. When digging, B discovers A’s treasure. Reviewed by Rik Peels, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. In a similar way, LC5 explains that, while we lack effective control over many physical events—for example, sunrises—the reason why they are not lucky is that they are under our tracking control, that is, they are things that we regularly monitor and thereby can exploit to our advantage. Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. D. 2014. Although Levy thinks that it is a mistake to seek much clarity about how the latter affects the former, he also believes that there is a relation of inverse proportionality between the two: the more significant an event for an agent is, the smaller needs to be the proportion of close possible worlds in which it would not occur to be considered lucky for the agent—Coffman (2014) calls this the inverse proportionality thesis; see Levy (2011: 36). For all A knows, there is low probability that she will survive. A different approach to luck emphasizes the fact that paradigmatic instances of luck such as lottery wins could have easily failed to occur. One way to account for the difference in luckiness is that while the former event is not significant to anyone, the latter is significant to whoever is nearby. A platitude in epistemology is that coming to believe the truth by sheer luck is incompatible with knowing. It makes clear, though, that more work on luck is needed. In the light of these considerations, McKinnon proposes the following view: OP3: For any series A of events (E1, E2, …, En) that are significant to an agent S and for any objective expected ratio N of outcomes for events of type E, S is lucky proportionally to how much the actual ratio of outcomes in A deviates from N. In a nutshell, McKinnon’s view is that we attribute any deviation from the expected ratio of outcomes to luck, and namely to good luck—if the deviation is positive—and to bad luck—if the deviation is negative. They might argue that knowing exactly how lucky someone is with respect to an event entails that the exact probability of the event’s occurrence is known. Pritchard and Smith survey psychological research on luck and argue that it supports the modal account of luck. With that distinction in place, Pritchard distinguishes two competing ways to understand the notion of risk or of risk event. For example, losing one’s keys and having to spend the night outdoors is bad luck if one gets a cold as a consequence, but it is also good luck if one thereby avoids an explosion in one’s apartment. McKinnon, Rachel. However, as is also the case in all the other essays, McKinnon, in the course of defending her main thesis, makes some interesting conceptual observations. 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. Of course, Hales and Johnson, focusing on the empirical work they have done and its philosophical repercussions, aren't able to address all philosophical objections in this one paper, but it seems to me that philosophers will have a whole repertoire of replies available. Stoutenburg, Gregory. Baumann, Peter. Luck attributions and cognitive Bias. Is the inequality of a person unjust when it is caused by bad luck? More than half of the essays -- seven out of twelve -- are entirely devoted to providing and defending an analysis of luck. Yet, the event is lucky precisely because it arises out of a coincidence. 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. For example, someone would be clearly lucky if, unbeknownst to her, a bullet just missed her head by centimeters. The modal account of risk, by contrast, says that an event is at risk of occurring just in case it would occur in at least some close possible worlds—see also Coffman (2007) and Williamson (2009). Finally, Levy (2009; 2011: 17) thinks that fortunate events are non-chancy events—hence non-lucky—but luck-involving, in the sense that they have luck in their causal history and, in particular, in their proximate causes. But then, of course, that need not be done in the book itself. This is done mainly for the sake of simplicity. Fernando Broncano-Berrocal It might be thought that lucky events are events whose occurrence was not predetermined in that way. Against the sufficiency claim, Lackey argues that many nomic necessities—for example, sunrises—are not under our control, but that does not mean that they are by luck—see also Latus (2003) for this objection. By being in a position to exploit the eclipse in her favor, A is in control of the situation. On the other hand, how close or immediate should an antecedent be in order to prevent two events from constituting a coincidence is a matter that usually becomes clear in context. On Duncan Pritchard’s m… One might think that it is not given (i) how acquainted we are with the phenomenon of luck in everyday life and (ii) the fact that progress has been made in the aforementioned debates on the assumption of a pre-theoretical understanding of the notion. Then, they propose an error theory according to which most people would be mistaken to say that B’s discovery is by luck: B’s discovery is in reality fortunate, not lucky—see section 7 for the specific way in which Pritchard and Levy distinguish luck from fortune. For example, one way to explain why we are lucky to win the lottery is that the outcome of the lottery is beyond our control. Flashcards. The idea that morality is immune from luck finds inspiration inKant: Thomas Nagel approvingly cites this passage in the opening of his 1979article, “Moral Luck.” Nagel’s article began as areply to Williams’ paper of the same name, and the two articlestogether articulated in a new and powerful way a challenge for anyonewishing to defend the Kantian idea that an important aspect ofmorality is immune from luck, or independent of what is outside of ourcontrol. The answer is not clear. The Myth of Luck helps us to regain our own agency in the world - telling the entertaining story of the philosophy and history of luck along the way. 2014. First, one might point out that people can simply be mistaken and that they need training. As we have seen, SP3 says that an agent is increasingly lucky with respect to an event the less likely the occurrence of the event—conditional on her evidence—is. Pritchard (2014; 2015) also argues that when risk is understood in modal terms, the notions of luck and risk are basically co-extensive, because both how lucky and risky an event is depends on the modal profile of the event’s occurrence, that is, on the size of the proportion of close possible worlds in which it would not obtain, or the distance to the actual world of possible worlds in which it would not occur. Pritchard (2005: 130) explains that by “wide” he means at least approaching half the close possible worlds, where events that are clearly lucky would not obtain in most close possible worlds. Intuitively, however, A and B would be equally lucky if they won the lottery. The following preliminary remarks will address three questions: (1) What are the bearers of luck? Download and Read online The Philosophy Of Luck ebooks in PDF, epub, Tuebl Mobi, Kindle Book. When luck (good or bad) is problematic, that is because it seems significantly to impede agents' control over themselves or to highlight important gaps or shortcomings in such control. On the one hand, the term “lucky” can be predicated of agents—for example, “Chloe is lucky to win the lottery.” In general, the kind of beings to which we attribute luck are beings with objective or subjective interests such as self-preservation or desires—see Ballantyne (2012) for further discussion. According to SP4, B would not be lucky if she won the lottery and survived as a result. But if one’s aim is to account for non-relational luck instead—that is, when is an event lucky simpliciter—one will be reluctant to include such condition in one’s analysis—see Pritchard (2014) for further discussion. Finally, although the term “lucky” is ordinarily associated with good luck, in the philosophical literature, it is used to denote events that instantiate good luck as well as events that instantiate bad luck. First, a dominant—although not undisputed—idea is that necessary truths have probability 1. 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. 2007. There is a close connection between the concepts of luck and risk. 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. D. & Johnson, Jennifer Adrienne. 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. Agents. Thinking about luck. Ballantyne argues that investigating the nature of luck does not allow to better understand knowledge. That she is killed is obviously bad luck, but it was also very probable given how many mercenaries were trying to kill her: even if each killing attempt had low probability to succeed, the probability that at least one would succeed was high given the number of independent attempts—that is, the probability of the disjunction of all attempts was high. While Rescher defends a probabilistic account of luck, Coffman thinks that lack of both negative and positive control—when understood in terms of freedom—is necessary for luck. Therefore, they address several objections that might be leveled against their strategy. That said, the simplest lack of control account has the following form: LC1: A significant event E is lucky for an agent S at time t if only if E is beyond S’s control at t. Many lucky events are beyond our control, so LC1 seems to be on the right track. This is clearly true of relational luck. The epistemic analysis of luck. Is that person lucky? It isn't clear whether to count a situation like this as a case of intervening luck or environmental luck (or maybe not a case of luck at all). From that person’s perspective, it is good luck that she has received the check, but from the perspective of the benefactor, it is not—the example is from Rescher (1995: 35). Perhaps, the following slightly different formulation is to be preferred—see Coffman (2007): M2: A significant event E is lucky for an agent S at time t if only if E occurs in the actual world at t but does not occur at t or at times close to t in at least half the close possible worlds in which the relevant initial conditions for E are the same as in the actual world. Milburn, Joe. A legitimate question is whether the concept of luck itself is worthy of philosophical investigation. For instance, he defines 'agential risk' as follows: "S is at risk with respect to an event E if and only if (i) S has an interest N, (ii) if E were to occur, it would have some objectively positive or negative effect on N, and (iii) S lacks control over E." (p. 13) Now, imagine that Mary marries a completely reliable person, Sam, and that she knows that he is completely reliable. It seems to me that this is a path that many philosophers would pursue. McKinnon gives an answer to the question of what does it mean to say that someone creates her own luck and uses her account of diachronic luck to explain how we evaluate performances. The probabilistic account of risk says that an event is at risk of occurring just in case there is non-zero objective probability that it will occur. His reply to Lackey’s buried treasure case is that luck in the circumstances—the lucky coincidence that someone places a plant at the same location in which someone has buried a treasure—is not inherited by the actions performed in those circumstances or by the events resulting from them—for example, the discovery of the treasure. University of Leuven (KU Leuven) Luck as risk and the lack of control account of luck. More specifically, coincidences are such that we cannot explain why they occur because there is no common nomological antecedent of their components or a nomological connection between them. This shows, contrary to what OP1 and OP2 say, that luck does not entail low probability of occurrence. Introduction Here is one way in which knowledge differs from other epistemic attitudes. However, there are clearly lucky events, such as obtaining heads by flipping a coin, that would not occur in a large proportion of close possible worlds—since the probability of heads is 0.5, we can suppose that in half the close possible worlds the outcome would be still heads. Duncan Pritchard and Lee John Whittington (eds.). By way of illustration, the expected ratio of flipping a coin is 50 percent tails and 50 percent heads. It seems to me the book is best seen and read as a catalyst for the debate on luck. In contrast, if the target event is the agent’s action, (1) and (2) do establish a relationship between the agent and her action—for example, that S scores a goal is lucky for S. In the literature, most accounts of luck try to explain what it takes for an event to be lucky for an agent. The claim goes something like this: if people are morally equal, then they’re entitled to have equal wellbeing. However, (1) and (2) are not equivalent to (3) and (4). But the mere causal relevance of an agent’s actions to an event’s occurrence is not sufficient for excluding accidentality either. Broncano-Berrocal does some important conceptual work by exploring the relation between luck and risk. 2014. Rescher, Nicholas. The view, which can be called the distance view, says that the degree of luck of an event varies as a function of the distance to the actual world of possible worlds in which it would fail to occur. A prominent exception is Pritchard (2005), who is the only author in the literature advocating a pure modal account of luck—in more recent work (2014), he drops the significance condition from his analysis, plausibly because he is mainly interested in giving an account of non-relational luck. Pritchard, Duncan, & Whittington, Lee John (eds.). 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