the intro paragraph

Thursday, December 05, 2002, at 05:36PM

By Eric Richardson

I think this is one of the best I've crafted...

Every small child has an inherent knowledge of the concept of moral luck. Even Homer Simpson, the dull-witted star of animated TV, has mastered practical application of the concept. When his car's rear bumper falls off, causing mayhem for the cars behind him, Homer appeals for an analysis of his intentions, not of the result that happened to occur. "Not my fault!" he yells out the window at the chaos, "Act of God! Act of God!" Thomas Nagel deals with this issue of how moral responsibility is influenced by circumstances outside a person's control in his essay entitled "Moral Luck." Nagel's work is strong in its presentation of the internal paradox this issue presents, but falls short when it fails to differentiate between moral responsibility and criminal culpability.