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  1. Priming Effects and Free Will.Ezio Di Nucci - 2012 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 20 (5):725-734.
    Abstract I argue that the empirical literature on priming effects does not warrant nor suggest the conclusion, drawn by prominent psychologists such as J. A. Bargh, that we have no free will or less free will than we might think. I focus on a particular experiment by Bargh ? the ?elderly? stereotype case in which subjects that have been primed with words that remind them of the stereotype of the elderly walk on average slower out of the experiment?s room than (...)
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  • Moral Shallowness, Metaphysical Megalomania, and Compatibilist-Fatalism.Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):173-188.
    In the debate on free will and moral responsibility, Saul Smilansky is a hard source-incompatibilist who objects to source-compatibilism for being morally shallow. After criticizing John Martin Fischer’s too optimistic response to this objection, this paper dissipates the charge that compatibilist accounts of ultimate origination are morally shallow by appealing to the seriousness of contingency in the framework of, what Paul Russell calls, compatibilist-fatalism. Responding to the objection from moral shallowness thus drives a wedge between optimists and fatalists within the (...)
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  • Close Calls and the Confident Agent: Free Will, Deliberation, and Alternative Possibilities.Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):627-667.
    Two intuitions lie at the heart of our conception of free will. One intuition locates free will in our ability to deliberate effectively and control our actions accordingly: the ‘Deliberation and Control’ (DC) condition. The other intuition is that free will requires the existence of alternative possibilities for choice: the AP condition. These intuitions seem to conflict when, for instance, we deliberate well to decide what to do, and we do not want it to be possible to act in some (...)
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  • Freedom With a Human Face.Timothy O'connor - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):207-227.
    As good a definition as any of a _philosophical_ conundrum is a problem all of whose possible solutions are unsatisfactory. The problem of understanding the springs of action for morally responsible agents is commonly recognized to be such a problem. The origin, nature, and explanation of freely-willed actions puzzle us today as they did the ancients Greeks, and for much the same reasons. However, one can carry this ‘perennial-puzzle’ sentiment too far. The unsatisfactory nature of philosophical theories is a more (...)
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  • The Dialectic Role of the Flickers of Freedom.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):337-368.
    One well-known incompatibilist response to Frankfurt-style counterexamples is the ‘flicker-of-freedom strategy’. The flicker strategy claims that even in a Frankfurt-style counterexample, there are still morally relevant alternative possibilities. In the present paper, I differentiate between two distinct understandings of the flicker strategy, as the failure to differentiate these two versions has led some philosophers to argue at cross-purposes. I also explore the respective dialectic roles that the two versions of the flicker strategy play in the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists. (...)
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  • Beyond Verbal Disputes: The Compatibilism Debate Revisited.Peter Schulte - 2014 - Erkenntnis 79 (3):669-685.
    The compatibilism debate revolves around the question whether moral responsibility and free will are compatible with determinism. Prima facie, this seems to be a substantial issue. But according to the triviality objection, the disagreement is merely verbal: compatibilists and incompatibilists, it is maintained, are talking past each other, since they use the terms “free will” and “moral responsibility” in different senses. In this paper I argue, first, that the triviality objection is indeed a formidable one and that the standard replies (...)
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  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: Does Either Require the Other?Alfred Mele - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):297-309.
    This article explores the conceptual connections between free action and action for which the agent is morally responsible. Questions addressed include the following. Can agents who are never morally responsible for anything sometimes act freely? Can agents who never act freely be morally responsible for some of their actions? Various compatibilist and incompatibilist responses to these questions are discussed, as is the control over their behavior that ordinary agents attribute to themselves.
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  • Omissions, Responsibility, and Symmetry.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 82 (3):594-624.
    It is widely held that one can be responsible for doing something that one was unable to avoid doing. This paper focuses primarily on the question of whether one can be responsible for not doing something that one was unable to do. The paper begins with an examination of the account of responsibility for omissions offered by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza, arguing that in many cases it yields mistaken verdicts. An alternative account is sketched that jibes with and (...)
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  • Is Agentive Experience Compatible with Determinism?Oisín Deery - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (1):2-19.
    Many philosophers think not only that we are free to act otherwise than we do, but also that we experience being free in this way. Terry Horgan argues that such experience is compatibilist: it is accurate even if determinism is true. According to Horgan, when people judge their experience as incompatibilist, they misinterpret it. While Horgan's position is attractive, it incurs significant theoretical costs. I sketch an alternative way to be a compatibilist about experiences of free agency that avoids these (...)
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  • Prophets Against Ockhamism. Or: Why the Hard Fact/Soft Fact Distinction is Irrelevant to the Problem of Foreknowledge.Raphael van Riel - 2014 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 75 (2):119-135.
    In this paper, a cognate of the problem of divine foreknowledge is introduced: the problem of the prophet’s foreknowledge. The latter cannot be solved referring to Ockhamism—the doctrine that divine foreknowledge could, at least in principle, be compatible with human freedom because God’s beliefs about future actions are merely soft facts, rather than hard facts about the past. Under the assumption that if Ockhamism can solve the problem of divine foreknowledge then it should also yield a solution to the problem (...)
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  • A Defense of Local Miracle Compatibilism.Peter A. Graham - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 140 (1):65 - 82.
    David Lewis has offered a reply to the standard argument for the claim that the truth of determinism is incompatible with anyone’s being able to do otherwise than she in fact does. Helen Beebee has argued that Lewis’s compatibilist strategy is untenable. In this paper I show that one recent attempt to defend Lewis’s view against this argument fails and then go on to offer my own defense of Lewis’s view.
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  • Freedom, Obligation, and Responsibility: Prospects for a Unifying Theory.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):106-125.
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  • On an Argument for the Impossibility of Moral Responsibility.Randolph Clarke - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):13-24.
    Galen Strawson has published several versions of an argument to the effect that moral responsibility is impossible, whether determinism is true or not. Few philosophers have been persuaded by the argument, which Strawson remarks is often dismissed “as wrong, or irrelevant, or fatuous, or too rapid, or an expression of metaphysical megalomania.” I offer here a two-part explanation of why Strawson’s argument has impressed so few. First, as he usually states it, the argument is lacking at least one key premise. (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Kinds of Freedom.John Martin Fischer - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):203 - 228.
    In this paper I seek to identify different sorts of freedom putatively linked to moral responsibility; I then explore the relationship between such notions of freedom and the Consequence Argument, on the one hand, and the Frankfurt-examples, on the other. I focus (in part) on a dilemma: if a compatibilist adopts a broadly speaking "conditional" understanding of freedom in reply to the Consequence Argument, such a theorist becomes vulnerable in a salient way to the Frankfurt-examples.
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  • Everyone Thinks That an Ability to Do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2091-2107.
    Seemingly one of the most prominent issues that divide theorists about free will and moral responsibility concerns whether the ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility. I defend two claims in this paper. First, that this appearance is illusory: everyone thinks an ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility. The central issue is not whether the ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility but which abilities to do otherwise are necessary. Second, (...)
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  • Powers, Necessity, and Determinism.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2014 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 3 (3):225-229.
    Stephen Mumford and Rani Lill Anjum have argued that a theory of free will that appeals to a powers-based ontology is incompatible with causal determinism. This is a surprising conclusion since much recent work on the intersection of the metaphysics of powers and free will has consisted of attempts to defend compatibilism by appealing to a powers-based ontology. In response I show that their argument turns on an equivocation of ‘all events are necessitated’.
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  • Does the Consequence Argument Beg the Question?John Martin Fischer & Garrett Pendergraft - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 166 (3):575-595.
    The Consequence Argument has elicited various responses, ranging from acceptance as obviously right to rejection as obviously problematic in one way or another. Here we wish to focus on one specific response, according to which the Consequence Argument begs the question. This is a serious accusation that has not yet been adequately rebutted, and we aim to remedy that in what follows. We begin by giving a formulation of the Consequence Argument. We also offer some tentative proposals about the nature (...)
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  • New Essays on the Metaphysics of Moral Responsibility.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):193 - 201.
    This is the introduction to a volume of new essays in the metaphysics of moral responsibility by John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Ishtiyaque Haji, Alfred R. Mele, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, and Peter van Inwagen. I provide some background for the essays, cover the main debates in the metaphysics of moral responsibility, and emphasize some of the authors' contributions to this area of philosophy.
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  • Fischer-Style Compatibilism.Michael Garnett - 2013 - Analysis 73 (2):387-397.
    This is a critical review essay on John Martin Fischer's Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value.
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  • Global Control and Freedom.Bernard Berofsky - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):419-445.
    Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims of its adherents, (...)
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  • A Critique of Frankfurt-Libertarianism.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):189-202.
    Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action. I briefly argue (...)
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  • The Metaphysical Presuppositions of Moral Responsibility.Helen Steward - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):241-271.
    The paper attempts to explicate and justify the position I call `Agency Incompatibilism'- that is to say, the view that agency itself is incompatible with determinism. The most important part of this task is the characterisation of the conception of agency on which the position depends; for unless this is understood, the rationale for the position is likely to be missed. The paper accordingly proceeds by setting out the orthodox philosophical position concerning what it takes for agency to exist, before (...)
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  • The Necessity of Alternate Possibilities for Moral Responsibility.Richard M. Glatz - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 139 (2):257-272.
    Harry Frankfurt has famously criticized the principle of alternate possibilities—the principle that an agent is morally responsible for performing some action only if able to have done otherwise than to perform it—on the grounds that it is possible for an agent to be morally responsible for performing an action that is inevitable for the agent when the reasons for which the agent lacks alternate possibilities are not the reasons for which the agent has acted. I argue that an incompatibilist about (...)
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  • The Problem of Enhanced Control.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):687 - 706.
    A crucial question for libertarians about free will and moral responsibility concerns how their accounts secure more control than compatibilism. This problem is particularly exasperating for event-causal libertarianism, as it seems that the only difference between these accounts and compatibilism is that the former require indeterminism. But how can indeterminism, a mere negative condition, enhance control? This worry has led many to conclude that the only viable form of libertarianism is agent-causal libertarianism. In this paper I show that this conclusion (...)
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  • Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions.Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.
    The debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists depends in large part on what ordinary people mean by ‘free will’, a matter on which previous experimental philosophy studies have yielded conflicting results. In Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer, and Turner (2005, 2006), most participants judged that agents in deterministic scenarios could have free will and be morally responsible. Nichols and Knobe (2007), though, suggest that these apparent compatibilist responses are performance errors produced by using concrete scenarios, and that their abstract scenarios reveal the folk (...)
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  • Free Will, Moral Responsibility, and Mechanism: Experiments on Folk Intuitions.Eddy Nahmias, D. Justin Coates & Trevor Kvaran - 2007 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 31 (1):214–242.
    In this paper we discuss studies that show that most people do not find determinism to be incompatible with free will and moral responsibility if determinism is described in a way that does not suggest mechanistic reductionism. However, if determinism is described in a way that suggests reductionism, that leads people to interpret it as threatening to free will and responsibility. We discuss the implications of these results for the philosophical debates about free will, moral responsibility, and determinism.
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  • Collective Responsibility and an Agent Meaning Theory.Michael Mckenna - 2006 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 30 (1):16–34.
    The article presents the nature of shared intentions and collective responsibility in simultaneous discussion of individualism, which views that collective agents and shared intentions are to be analyzed in relation between individual agents who are members of the collectives. It discusses as well the agent meaning theory that states that an agent moves against the interpretive background of action evaluation shared by the agent and the moral community.
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  • Where Frankfurt and Strawson Meet.Michael Mckenna - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):163-180.
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  • Blameworthiness, Non-Robust Alternatives, and the Principle of Alternative Expectations.David Widerker - 2005 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 29 (1):292–306.
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  • Analyzing Social Knowledge.J. Angelo Corlett - 2007 - Social Epistemology 21 (3):231 – 247.
    In the tradition of justified true belief theory, I provide an epistemic responsibility-based philosophical analysis of collective knowledge which is both coherentist and reliabilist.
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  • Conscious Will, Reason-Responsiveness, and Moral Responsibility.Markus E. Schlosser - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):205-232.
    Empirical evidence challenges many of the assumptions that underlie traditional philosophical and commonsense conceptions of human agency. It has been suggested that this evidence threatens also to undermine free will and moral responsibility. In this paper, I will focus on the purported threat to moral responsibility. The evidence challenges assumptions concerning the ability to exercise conscious control and to act for reasons. This raises an apparent challenge to moral responsibility as these abilities appear to be necessary for morally responsible agency. (...)
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  • Reasons and Impossibility.Bart Streumer - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 136 (3):351-384.
    Many philosophers claim that it cannot be the case that a person ought to perform an action if this person cannot perform this action. However, most of these philosophers do not give arguments for the truth of this claim. In this paper, I argue that it is plausible to interpret this claim in such a way that it is entailed by the claim that there cannot be a reason for a person to perform an action if it is impossible that (...)
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  • Freedom From the Inside Out.Carl Hoefer - 2002 - Royal Institute of Philosophy Supplement 50:201-.
    Since the death of strong reductionism, philosophers of science have expanded the horizons of their understandings of the physical, mental, and social worlds, and the complex relations among them. To give one interesting example, John Dupre has endorsed a notion of downward causation: ‘higher-level’ events causing events at a ‘lower’ ontological level. For example, my intention to type the letter ‘t’ causes the particular motions experienced by all the atoms in my left forefinger as I type it. The proper explanation (...)
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  • Neo-Frankfurtians and Buffer Cases: The New Challenge to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):189–207.
    The debate over whether Frankfurt-style cases are counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities has taken an interesting turn in recent years. Frankfurt originally envisaged his attack as an attempting to show that PAP is false—that the ability to do otherwise is not necessary for moral responsibility. To many this attack has failed. But Frankfurtians have not conceded defeat. Neo-Frankfurtians, as I will call them, argue that the upshot of Frankfurt-style cases is not that PAP is false, but that it (...)
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  • Addiction, Compulsion, and Agency.Ezio Di Nucci - 2014 - Neuroethics 7 (1):105-107.
    I show that Pickard’s argument against the irresistibility of addiction fails because her proposed dilemma, according to which either drug-seeking does not count as action or addiction is resistible, is flawed; and that is the case whether or not one endorses Pickard’s controversial definition of action. Briefly, we can easily imagine cases in which drug-seeking meets Pickard’s conditions for agency without thereby implying that the addiction was not irresistible, as when the drug addict may take more than one route to (...)
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  • A Frankfurt Example to End All Frankfurt Examples.James Cain - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (1):83-93.
    Frankfurt examples are frequently used in arguments designed to show that agents lacking alternatives, or lacking ‘regulative control’ over their actions, can be morally responsible for what they do. I will maintain that Frankfurt examples can be constructed that undermine those very arguments when applied to actions for which the agent bears fundamental responsibility.
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  • Vihvelin and Fischer on ‘Pre-Decisional’ Intervention.Simon Kittle - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (4):987-997.
    Vihvelin argues that Frankfurt-style cases should be divided into two kinds, according to when the trigger for the intention takes place: either prior to the agent's choice or after it. Most agree that only the former, which I call pre-decisional intervention, stands a chance of removing all of an agent's alternatives. Vihvelin notes that both sides in the dispute over whether there is a successful case of pre-decisional intervention assume that if there is a successful case, then it will be (...)
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  • Incompatibilism and the Logic of Transfer.Danilo šuster - 2004 - Acta Analytica 19 (33):45-54.
    Modal arguments for incompatibility of freedom and determinism are typically based on the “transfer principle” for inability to act otherwise (Beta). The principle of agglomerativity (closure under conjunction introduction) is derivable from Beta. The most convincing counterexample to Beta is based on the denial of Agglomeration. The defender of the modal argument has two ways to block counterexamples to Beta: (i) use a notion of inability to act otherwise which is immune to the counterexample to agglomerativity; (ii) replace Beta with (...)
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  • Local Miracle Compatibilism.Helen Beebee - 2003 - Noûs 37 (2):258-277.
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  • The Bounds of Freedom.Galen Strawson - 2002 - In Robert H. Kane (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Free Will. Oxford University Press. pp. 441-460.
    The shortest form of the Basic Argument against free will and moral responsibility runs as follows: [1] When you act, you do what you do—in the situation in which you find yourself—because of the way you are. [2] If you do what you do because of the way you are, then in order to be fully and ultimately responsible for what you do you must be fully and ultimately responsible for the way you are. But [3] You cannot be fully (...)
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  • My Way and Life’s Highway: Replies to Steward, Smilansky, and Perry. [REVIEW]John Martin Fischer - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (2):167 - 189.
    I seek to reply to the thoughtful and challenging papers by Helen Steward, Saul Smilansky, and John Perry. Steward argues that agency itself requires access to alternative possibilities; I attempt to motivate my denial of this view. I believe that her view here is no more plausible than the view that it is unfair to hold someone morally responsible, unless he has genuine access to alternative possibilities. Smilansky contends that compatibilism is morally shallow, and that we can see this from (...)
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  • Determinism and the Paradox of Predictability.Stefan Rummens & Stefaan E. Cuypers - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (2):233-249.
    The inference from determinism to predictability, though intuitively plausible, needs to be qualified in an important respect. We need to distinguish between two different kinds of predictability. On the one hand, determinism implies external predictability , that is, the possibility for an external observer, not part of the universe, to predict, in principle, all future states of the universe. Yet, on the other hand, embedded predictability as the possibility for an embedded subsystem in the universe to make such predictions, does (...)
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  • Is Incompatibilism Intuitive?Jason Turner, Eddy Nahmias, Stephen Morris & Thomas Nadelhoffer - 2006 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 73 (1):28-53.
    Incompatibilists believe free will is impossible if determinism is true, and they often claim that this view is supported by ordinary intuitions. We challenge the claim that incompatibilism is intuitive to most laypersons and discuss the significance of this challenge to the free will debate. After explaining why incompatibilists should want their view to accord with pre theoretical intuitions. we suggest that determining whether incompatibilism is infact intuitive calls for empirical testing. We then present the results of our studies, which (...)
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  • Incompatibilism and the Past.Andrew M. Bailey - 2012 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 85 (2):351-376.
    There is a new objection to the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. I argue that the objection is more wide-ranging than originally thought. In particular: if it tells against the Consequence Argument, it tells against other arguments for incompatibilism too. I survey a few ways of dealing with this objection and show the costs of each. I then present an argument for incompatibilism that is immune to the objection and that enjoys other advantages.
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  • Dennett on the Basic Argument.John Martin Fischer - 2005 - Metaphilosophy 36 (4):427-435.
    Christopher Taylor has greatly clarified my thinking on this topic and shown me how to launch a deeper and more radical campaign in support of my earlier claims to this effect, and our coauthored paper (Taylor and Dennett 2001) provides more technical detail than is needed here. Here I will attempt a gentler version of our argument, highlighting the main points so that non-philosophers can at least see what the points of contention are, and how we propose to settle them, (...)
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  • Reply: The Free Will Revolution.John Martin Fischer - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (2):145 – 156.
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  • XV—Intelligent Capacities.Victoria McGeer - forthcoming - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society.
    In The Concept of Mind, Gilbert Ryle argued that a more sophisticated understanding of the dispositional nature of ‘intelligent capacities’ could bolster philosophical resistance to the tempting view that the human mind is possessed of metaphysically ‘occult’ powers and properties. This temptation is powerful in the context of accounting for the special qualities of responsible agency. Incompatibilists indulge the temptation; compatibilists resist it, using a variety of strategies. One recent strategy, reminiscent of Ryle’s, is to exploit a more sophisticated understanding (...)
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  • The Epistemic Norm of Blame.D. Coates - 2016 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (2):457-473.
    In this paper I argue that it is inappropriate for us to blame others if it is not reasonable for us to believe that they are morally responsible for their actions. The argument for this claim relies on two controversial claims: first, that assertion is governed by the epistemic norm of reasonable belief, and second, that the epistemic norm of implicatures is relevantly similar to the norm of assertion. I defend these claims, and I conclude by briefly suggesting how this (...)
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  • Composition and the Cases.Andrew M. Bailey - 2016 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 59 (5):453-470.
    Some strange cases have gripped philosophers of mind. They have been deployed against materialism about human persons, functionalism about mentality, the possibility of artificial intelligence, and more. In this paper, I cry “foul”. It’s not hard to think that there’s something wrong with the cases. But what? My proposal: their proponents ignore questions about composition. And ignoring composition is a mistake. Indeed, materialists about human persons, functionalists about mentality, and believers in the possibility of artificial intelligence can plausibly deploy moderate (...)
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  • Ability, Foreknowledge, and Explanatory Dependence.Philip Swenson - 2016 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 94 (4):658-671.
    Many philosophers maintain that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with comprehensive divine foreknowledge but incompatible with the truth of causal determinism. But the Fixity of the Past principle underlying the rejection of compatibilism about the ability to do otherwise and determinism appears to generate an argument also for the incompatibility of the ability to do otherwise and divine foreknowledge. By developing an account of ability that appeals to the notion of explanatory dependence, we can replace the Fixity of (...)
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