Volume 44, 1998
Happiness and Luckiness
Moral philosophers, beginning with Bernard Williams and Thomas Nagel, have recently broached the topic of moral luck in the philosophical literature. They limit their discussion however to considerations of how luck affects our ability to carry out actions or how it affects the consequences of our actions. I wish to suggest that luck is also an important factor in determining our actions as ends in themselves. What actions we may choose to perform for their own sake in a given situation depends much more than we might care to think on causes beyond our control. Our happiness rests ultimately on our luckiness.