Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Moral Luck and Normativity

Yujian Zheng.

The notion of “normativity” becomes increasingly important in contemporary philosophy, from moral & political philosophy to aesthetics, action theory, and philosophy of mind & language. And there are multi dimensions or levels of normativity which allow different approaches or perspectives to reveal its hidden as well as obvious roles. This paper chooses a particular yet ubiquitous phenomenon in human life, i.e., moral luck, as an object of analysis aiming to reveal its connection to a certain deep sense of normativity which, non-accidentally, also figures in many of our related conceptions about justice, equality, desert, blameworthiness, guilt, responsibility, autonomy, etc. My focus, therefore, is not on any comprehensive description of luck-related phenomena, not even their moral significance, but rather on a more general underlying pattern of human cognition and its disposition to commit itself to certain non-arbitrary norms. In particular, I shall appeal to, among other resources, some recent works of D. Dennett and try to put them in a larger picture of various contemporary approaches to the theme of normativity


Yujian Zheng  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Associate Prof. in Philosophy
Department of Philosophy
Lingnan University

  • Luck
  • Normativity
  • Dennett

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)