Sunday, August 17, 2014

on having bad luck even when you don't.

“…can’t blame this one on bad luck.”
—Charli XCX, How Can I?
Michelle has been in five minor car accidents, all of which, for one reason or another, were her fault.  Since they were her fault, these accidents weren’t freak accidents.  Thus, upon Michelle’s sixth accident—again her fault—she has every reason to say, “I can’t blame this one on bad luck.”  If it’s not bad luck, then it’s Michelle that deserves blame—some disposition or proclivity of hers is what keeps her from being accident-free.  But can’t the fact that she’s such itself be a function of bad luck?  Suppose that the only salient difference between Michelle and her friend Kim is that Kim is accident-free, and that this difference is itself a consequence of a difference in their genetic endowment.  If this were so, though Michelle wouldn’t be able to blame her accident on bad luck, she still could blame her disposition or proclivity to cause accidents itself on bad luck. Or no?
Put more abstractly and succinctly: it may be that you cannot blame what you do on bad luck, but it may be a matter of bad luck that you can’t. 


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11:18 PM  

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