Skip to main content
Kent Academic Repository

Circumstance, answerability and luck

Radoilska, Lubomira V. (2021) Circumstance, answerability and luck. The Monist, 104 (2). pp. 155-167. ISSN 0026-9662. E-ISSN 2153-3601. (doi:10.1093/monist/onaa029) (KAR id:84844)


This paper identifies a distinctive kind of moral luck, deep circumstantial luck and then explores its effects on moral responsibility. A key feature of the phenomenon is that it is recurrent rather than one-off. It also affects agents across a wide range of situations making it difficult to detect. Deeply unlucky agents are subject to unfavourable moral assessments through no fault of their own both in specific cases and when they try to respond to such initial assessments. In this respect, deep circumstantial luck takes the form of a normative burden that grows over time. A process-oriented conception of moral responsibility as answerability is proposed to explain this phenomenon and highlight its implications for rethinking vicarious responsibility.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/monist/onaa029
Projects: Epistemic Injustice, Reasons and Agency
Uncontrolled keywords: agency, answerability, circumstance, deep circumstantial luck, moral luck, moral assessment, responsibility, vicarious responsibility
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Funders: Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (
Depositing User: Lubomira Radoilska
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2020 12:54 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 18:24 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Radoilska, Lubomira V..

Creator's ORCID:
CReDIT Contributor Roles:
  • Depositors only (login required):

Total unique views for this document in KAR since July 2020. For more details click on the image.