We all use the term ‘luck’ every day, but do we know what we mean when we say it? Research suggests that people generally have nascent, internally inconsistent accounts of luck, and that accounts vary significantly across individuals and cultures. This variation and lack of consistent usage could have significant impacts on research about belief in free will and moral responsibility, as well as how individuals approach many aspects of their lives. I’ll discuss what people seem to believe about luck and what the options are for more developed approaches.
Aaron Rabinowitz is a secular moral philosophy educator with 10+ years experience helping students develop their capacities for flourishing and value centered community organizing. He’s currently working on a PhD in education at Rutgers University, with a focus on developing a new pedagogy of luck. The new approach centers the problem of moral luck as a way to short circuit compulsive meritocratic behavior and replace it with greater compassion, humility, and personal fulfillment. He’s also the host of two philosophy podcasts, Embrace the Void, and Philosophers in Space which he co-hosts with Thomas Smith. His extended research interests include emerging technologies, personhood, conspiracism, and counterculture memetics.