Internal WiP: Hazem Zohny

The phenomenology of choices: Deliberation as instances of brute luck

Abstract: Luck egalitarianism makes a big fuss about outcomes in our lives beyond our control, versus those that are consequences of our choices. But what is it like to make a choice? I argue that, as a matter of control, there is no morally relevant difference between how deliberative processes unfold in consciousness, and how unchosen events arise in the world. Specifically, I argue that thoughts and feelings that arise in consciousness, including our responses to them, are importantly similar to unforeseeable and/or unavoidable events that unfold in the external world. This, I want to say, is true of phenomenal content as a matter of subjective experience, but also as a matter of conceptual necessity. If correct, this would undermine the luck egalitarian enterprise given the usual definitions of brute luck, though it may be irrelevant to some compatibilist accounts of responsibility.

This internal talk is for Oxford Uehiro Centre members and associates.

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