How to (dis)solve Nagel’s paradox about moral luck and responsibility


  • Fernando Rudy Hiller Stanford University Department of Philosophy


Control. Fair opportunity. Reasons-responsiveness. Responsibility. Moral luck. Nagel.


In this paper I defend a solution to the moral luck problem based on what I call “a fair opportunity account of control.” I focus on Thomas Nagel’s claim that moral luck reveals a paradox, and argue that the apparent paradox emerges only because he assumes that attributions of responsibility require agents to have total control over their actions. I argue that a more modest understanding of what it takes for someone to be a responsible agent—i.e., being capable of doing the right thing for the right reasons— dissolves the paradox and shows that responsibility and luck aren’t at odds.


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Biografia do Autor

Fernando Rudy Hiller, Stanford University Department of Philosophy

I received a PhD in philosophy from Stanford in 2016. I work in ethics, mainly in moral responsibility. I am particularly interested in attributions of blame in situations of ignorance, both factual and moral. I also have interests in philosophy of action and in the theory of practical rationality. 


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Como Citar

HILLER, F. R. How to (dis)solve Nagel’s paradox about moral luck and responsibility. Manuscrito: Revista Internacional de Filosofia, Campinas, SP, v. 39, n. 1, p. 6–32, 2016. Disponível em: Acesso em: 30 set. 2022.