Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Caucus Q's Answered: 12 PM Section

1. How does physics relate to chance and spontaneity?
Certainly the laws of physics determine certain chances or certain probability.  For example, it is because of the laws of physics that a coin will land heads up 50% of the time.  Spontaneity, however, seems to be defined as something that works outside the laws of physics.  Whether luck can happen with our without spontaneity is a question that may be the result of whether you think that luck is compatible with the laws of physics and other natural laws (compatibalism about luck and determinism) or if you think that luck in incompatible with determinism (incompatibalism)
2. Why is the sun rising not a case of luck? Is it because we understand why it happens?
There seem to be two relevant and related features of this case that seem to make it not a lucky event.  First, we do understand and moreover predict that the sun will rise in the morning.  The event is not lucky because we predict it will happen with almost certainty.  Second, we predict this because we understand the underlying natural laws that cause the earth to rotate.  The event is not lucky because it happens in the natural course of events according to natural laws.
3. Fortune can include being raised a certain way, it is not just supernatural.
This question was the same as #5 in the entry Caucus Q's Answered: 11 AM Section
4. Skill and luck are not mutually exclusive. They are often combined.
This comment is well taken.  Indeed, some skills involve knowing how to apply and use luck and probability.  For example, a poker player can have skill by knowing which cards are good, but a different kind of skill involves knowing the probability that certain hands will occur.  This comment is well taken.  I do want to note that there are differences between skills that do not rely on luck (knowing how to shuffle cards) and skills that do rely on luck (being able to win at poker).  In either case, we see that while skill and luck are often combined, they are two different concepts or ideas.  
5. What are other philosophical views on being fortunate "by nature"?
Although Richard Wiseman is not a professional philosopher, certainly his claim that people make their own luck and fortune are philosophically relevant.  Here is a link to his article on luck.  In truth, this topic is not pursued by contemporary professional philosophers.  We will continue to read views on luck, which hopefully will help to answer this question
6. What is the difference between fortune and luck?
This question is the same as #1 in the entry Caucus Q's Answered: 11 AM Section

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