Moral Luck

Edited by Daniel Statman

Series: SUNY series in Ethical Theory
Paperback : 9780791415405, 258 pages, August 1993
Hardcover : 9780791415399, 258 pages, August 1993

Table of contents


1. Introduction
Daniel Statman

2. Moral Luck
Bernard Williams

3. Moral Luck
Thomas Nagel

4. Luck and Ethics
Martha C. Nussbaum

5. What's Luck Got to Do With It?
Don S. Levi

6. Nagel, Williams, and Moral Luck
Judith Andre

7. Morality and Luck
Henning Jensen

8. Moral Luck
Nicholas Rescher

9. Luck and Desert
Norvin Richards

10. Crime and Moral Luck
Steven Sverdlik

11. Morality and Bad Luck
Judith Jarvis Thomson

12. Luck and Moral Responsibility
Michael J. Zimmerman

13. Moral Luck and the Virtues of Impure Agency
Margaret Urban Walker

14. Postscript
Bernard Williams


Luck plays a part in determining our judgments and in causing us to question our notions of morality. Should a successful murderer be punished more severely than an unsuccessful one? Should a person be praised for his fine moral character which was a consequence of his good luck in being born into a certain kind of family, in particular historical circumstances? These questions and other ideas are discussed in this book by leading philosophers including: Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Martha C. Nussbaum, Don Levi, Judith Andre, Henning Jensen, Nicholas Rescher, Norvin Richards, Steven Sverdlik, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Michael J. Zimmerman, and Margaret U. Walker. The reader is stimulated to reflect on his or her basic notions of morality, especially those of responsibility, agency, and justification.

Daniel Statman teaches in the Department of Philosophy at Bar-Ilan University in Israel.


"This is a topic of immense importance. It is hard to believe that more has not been done in this area. It is both important in its own right and also important in assessing the plausibility of Kantian ethics. " — Gregory Mellema, Calvin College