Virtue Epistemology and Moral Luck M ARK S ILCOX * Philosophy Department University of Central Oklahoma Edmond, OK, USA firstname.lastname@example.org Thomas Nagel has proposed that the existence of moral luck mandates a general attitude of skepticism in ethics. One popular way of arguing against Nagel’s claim is to insist that the phenomenon of moral luck itself is an illusion , in the sense that situations in which it seems to occur may be plausibly re-described so as to show that agents need not be held responsible for the unlucky outcomes of their actions. Here I argue that this strategy for explaining away moral luck fails because it does not take account of the fact that agents in morally unlucky circumstances are uni- formly subject to a very specific type of epistemic obligation. I then proceed to sketch out an alternative strategy for blocking the inference to skepti- cism, one that makes use of the distinctive explanatory resources provided by epistemic virtue theory. Keywords: moral luck, moral skepticism , Thomas Nagel, virtue epistemology, Linda Zagzebski Chance favors the prepared mind —Louis Pasteur n recent years, philosophers in the Anglo-American tradition have been hearing a lot about the concept of
Journal of Moral Philosophy – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2006
Keywords: virtue epistemology; moral skepticism; Thomas Nagel; moral luck; Linda Zagzebski
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