Dilemmas, Luck, and the Two Faces of Morality


Frick, Johann. “Dilemmas, Luck, and the Two Faces of Morality”. (Submitted). Print.


According to some philosophers, there are moral dilemmas: situations where, no matter how an agent chooses to act, her action will be morally wrong. According to some philosophers, there is moral outcome luck: how blameworthy an agent was for performing an action can depend on features of the action – namely how it turned out – that were at least partly beyond the agent’s control. In this paper, I investigate the features that make a moral view admit of moral dilemmas on the one hand, and moral luck, on the other. My conclusion is that there is a connection between these seemingly disparate normative phenomena. I argue that there is a structural property of moral views, what I call “parochial evaluation”, which explains both why a moral view admits of moral luck and why it admits of moral dilemmas. This, in turn, allows me to offer a novel argument against the view that there are genuine moral dilemmas and to defang the problem of moral outcome luck.

Last updated on 10/28/2021