Strokes of Luck


This essay aims to reorient current theorizing about luck as an aid to our discerning this concept’s true philosophical significance. After introducing the literature’s leading theories of luck, it presents and defends counterexamples to each of them. It then argues that recent luck theorists’ main target of analysis—the concept of an event’s being lucky for a subject—is parasitic on the more fundamental notion of an event’s being a stroke of luck for a subject, which thesis serves as at least a partial diagnosis of the leading theories’ failure. Next, it develops an analysis of strokes of luck that utilizes insights from the recent luck literature. Finally, having set out a comprehensive new analysis of luck—the Enriched Strokes Account of lucky events—the essay revisits the initial counterexamples to the literature’s leading theories and argues that the Enriched Strokes Account properly handles all of them.

Cite this paper

@inproceedings{Coffman2014StrokesOL, title={Strokes of Luck}, author={E. J. Coffman}, year={2014} }