Neil Levy's "Luck Pincer" against compatibilism about moral responsibility

26 February, 2022

Besedin A.
RSUH/RGGU Bulletin. "Philosophy. Sociology. Art Studies" Series, no. 3, pp. 26-37.

Abstract. The article discusses Neil Levy's argument against compatibil-ist theories of moral responsibility based on his concept of luck. The author considers possible ways for criticizing the concept of moral responsibility by undermining the control condition or the epistemic condition. Levi follows the second path. The author analyzes specifics in Levy's interpretation of the epistemic condition: according to Levy, the epistemic condition is built into the control one; it is considered from an internalist position (from the point of view of availability to an agent of the grounds for his action). Levy analyzes the concept of luck and identifies several types of it: chancy and non-chancy, present and constitutive. Cases of luck are not controlled by an agent, and he or she is not responsible for them. Then the author considers Levy's argument against compatibilism based on his concept of luck: any compatibilist explanation of an action for which an agent is morally responsible rests either on constitutive luck, or on present luck, or on a combination of them. The substantiation of such a trilemma leads Levy to the concept of intellectual vice. FitzPatrick's answer to the issue formulated by Levy is analyzed. It is shown that, even though Fitzpatrick's solution is problematic, his general approach is correct: it is necessary to develop a theory of epistemic responsibility by the means of virtue epistemology and show its connection with moral responsibility.