Philosophers have been concerning themselves for a long time with the question: “What is luck”. Then e.g. to be blessed with luck is the condition of perfect satisfaction, with no need to make any wishes, an ideal, whose implementation can be achieved by meaningful working and cooperation, until individual humans find its measure.
While the Sophists of the antique represented the view , “ the longings of the person who wants to live correctly must become as big as possible and must not be forced.” (in Platon: Gorgias, 491e) and therefore well-being, lack of restraint and liberty are blessings of luck. However, Sokrates objects to his sophisticated adversary Kallikles that true luck and correct life are bound to blessings of luck and stability, to which belongs the control of unrestrained longings.
For Aristoteles the human nature comes true in the Polis (state community). Who unfolds the virtues and competence within society by nature, is blessed by luck. People can only be called completely lucky (makarios) if they are sufficiently equipped with outside goods and spend their whole life long in accordance with virtue.
Epikur describes the desire as principle of succeeding in life, his position is often confoundet or equated with the Kallikles, which is however not fair. So in the Epikur philosophy of luck by avoiding pain a state of freedom from pain will be achieved, and this not by excessive benefit of wordly goods, but by strategic reduction of the most necessary needs. Similarly Diogenes also represents a rather ascetic attitude, in order to attain the condition of being blessed by luck in renunciation. By this ascetic way of life one can attain the condition of internal peace of soul (ataraxia), by triumphing over the fear of death. The ethical maxim of Epikur luck philosophy can also be found later in Jeremy Benthams „to pleasure term “, it represents a hedonistic calculation.
The Stoa (Zenon of Kition, Cicero, Seneca) raised the virtue to the life principle, desire is thus rejected. Differently than with Aristoteles reaching the blessing of luck will be uncoupled of the political life. One is blessed by luck, who lives according with nature (secundum naturum vivere). Since nature is reasonably determined by reason of God, one should live in conformity with the cosmic order and passions and longings should be repressed . One must be freed from emotions in relation to his fate.
Real liberty exists only independently from the outside fate, as well as from own passions and desires. Thus the condition (apathia) can be reached, which for the Stoiker means to be blessed by luck.
Luck philosophies which originate in the antique controlled the after-Christian time up to the modern times, they can even be found in today's luck philosophies. Many ideas of Christianity are borrowed from the antique luck philosophy, for example the concept that durable luck cannot be reached during our life on Earth but only after death.
A condition for the luck philosophy of Immanuel Kant is the collection of the term of luck as a moral guidance goal in the clearing-up.
To be blessed by luck is first rejected as a moral principle, since humans are in need of self love according to the principle. First everything goes to desire and will,in the hedonistic necessary demand, humans try to satisfy its inclinations. The luck term, which humans have, is for Kant not seizable, since already the simplest inclinations are varying and are only temporarily valid for individual definition of the term. Therefore Kant replaces the term of the luck by that of duty, being blessed by luck cannot be achieved during lifetime, because an action and duty limits luck.
Nevertheless one can make oneself worthy by moral acting of the luck, therefore Kant demands God, to assign to worthy humans the entitled measure of being blessed by luck after death. Importantly the theory synthesis of Kant, who already converts the coupling of being blessed by luck demanded by Sokrates to moral acting, by connecting luck-striving acting full of virtue and seeing in the performance of duties the way to the goal of being blessed by luck after death.
Morality and being blessed by luck are not to be separated, but are in the highest property two conditions which can be agreed and relied upon as well as possible. Luck becomes the moral task. The highest property becomes the purpose, under which we sketch ourselves a common social world.
For Arthur Schopenhauer there was an innate mistake , “that we are here to be lucky.” (Aphorismen to place to S.233). Despite the pessimistic fundamental conviction he recommends not to be guided by outside goods such as possession and reputation but to put most importance to the build up of one’s own personality. The largest enemies of luck are for him pain and boredom, whereby the latter can be overcome by mental wealth.
Newest philosophical approaches, e.g. , Robert Spaemann are of the opinion that each deeper joy depends on the development of forces and abilities (moral fundamental ideas, P. 34). For William Schmid lifestyle is an art, to which belong conscious bearing and the accomplishment of resistances and sacrifices. Martha Nussbaum derives specifically human abilities, indispensable for a good life, from the conditions of the unity of people (conditio humana) about those who enjoy good health or who build up relations with things or persons outside their own selfs.