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  1. Igniting the Flicker of Freedom: Revisiting the Frankfurt Scenario.Garry Young - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (2):171-180.
    This paper aims to challenge the view that the sign present in many Frankfurt-style scenarios is insufficiently robust to constitute evidence for the possibility of an alternate decision, and therefore inadequate as a means of determining moral responsibility. I have amended Frankfurt’s original scenario, so as to allow Jones, as well as Black, the opportunity to monitor his (Jones’s) own inclination towards a particular decision (the sign). Different outcome possibilities are presented, to the effect that Jones’s awareness of his own (...)
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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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  • A Defense of Frankfurt-Friendly Libertarianism.David Widerker - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):87 – 108.
    Elsewhere, I proposed a libertarian-based account of freedom and moral blameworthiness which like Harry Frankfurt's 1969 account rejects the principle of alternative possibilities (which I call, Frankfurt-friendly libertarianism). In this paper I develop this account further (a) by responding to an important objection to it raised by Carlos Moya; (b) by exploring the question why, if unavoidability per se does not exonerate from blame, the Frankfurt-friendly libertarian is justified in exculpating an agent under determinism; (c) by arguing that some main (...)
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  • Ceteris Paribus, I Could Have Done Otherwise.Ann Whittle - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (1):73-85.
    In this paper, I explore an alternative to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities for Moral Responsibility—the Ceteris Paribus Principle of Alternative Possibilities for Moral Responsibility. I consider motivations for this principle and answer some objections to it.
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  • Willusionism, Epiphenomenalism, and the Feeling of Conscious Will.Sven Walter - 2014 - Synthese 191 (10):2215-2238.
    While epiphenomenalism—i.e., the claim that the mental is a causally otiose byproduct of physical processes that does not itself cause anything—is hardly ever mentioned in philosophical discussions of free will, it has recently come to play a crucial role in the scientific attack on free will led by neuroscientists and psychologists. This paper is concerned with the connection between epiphenomenalism and the claim that free will is an illusion, in particular with the connection between epiphenomenalism and willusionism, i.e., with the (...)
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  • Forking Paths and Freedom: A Challenge to Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.Robyn Repko Waller & Russell L. Waller - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (4):1199-1212.
    The aim of this paper is to challenge libertarian accounts of free will. It is argued that there is an irreconcilable tension between the way in which philosophers motivate the incompatibilist ability to do otherwise and the way in which they formally express it. Potential incompatibilist responses in the face of this tension are canvassed, and it is argued that each response is problematic. It is not claimed that incompatibilist accounts in general are incoherent, but rather that any incompatibilist account (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Grounding the Luck Objection.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (1):127-138.
    Many object to libertarianism by arguing that it manages to solve one problem of luck only by falling prey to another . According to this objection, there is something freedom-undermining about the very circumstances that the libertarian thinks are required for freedom. However, it has proved difficult to articulate precisely what it is about these circumstances that is supposed to undermine freedom—the absence of certain sorts of explanations has perhaps been the most common complaint. In this paper, however, I argue (...)
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  • Soft Facts and Ontological Dependence.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):829-844.
    In the literature on free will, fatalism, and determinism, a distinction is commonly made between temporally intrinsic (‘hard’) and temporally relational (‘soft’) facts at times; determinism, for instance, is the thesis that the temporally intrinsic state of the world at some given past time, together with the laws, entails a unique future (relative to that time). Further, it is commonly supposed by incompatibilists that only the ‘hard facts’ about the past are fixed and beyond our control, whereas the ‘soft facts’ (...)
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  • Against Limited Foreknowledge.Patrick Todd - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):523-538.
    Theological fatalists contend that if God knows everything, then no human action is free, and that since God does know everything, no human action is free. One reply to such arguments that has become popular recently— a way favored by William Hasker and Peter van Inwagen—agrees that if God knows everything, no human action is free. The distinctive response of these philosophers is simply to say that therefore God does not know everything. On this view, what the fatalist arguments in (...)
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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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  • 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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  • Moral Competence, Moral Blame, and Protest.Matthew Talbert - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (1):89-109.
    I argue that wrongdoers may be open to moral blame even if they lacked the capacity to respond to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. My initial argument turns on the suggestion that even an agent who cannot respond to specific moral considerations may still guide her behavior by her judgments about reasons. I argue that this explanation of a wrongdoer’s behavior can qualify her for blame even if her capacity for moral understanding is impaired. A second argument (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Fairness, Agency and the Flicker of Freedom.Helen Steward - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):64 - 93.
    This paper argues for the replacement of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by an alternative principle, the Principle of Possible Non-Performance, which it is argued represents an important improvement on the Principle of Alternate Possibilities in the context of Frankfurt-style examples. The suggestion that the principle offers only the possibility of something insufficiently 'robust' to supply a decent replacement to PAP is countered.
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  • Semi-Compatibilism and Stalemate.Daniel Speak - 2005 - Philosophical Explorations 8 (2):95-102.
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  • Moral Responsibility: The Difference of Strawson, and the Difference It Should Make.Andrew Sneddon - 2005 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 8 (3):239-264.
    P.F. Strawson’s work on moral responsibility is well-known. However, an important implication of the landmark “Freedom and Resentment” has gone unnoticed. Specifically, a natural development of Strawson’s position is that we should understand being morally responsible as having externalistically construed pragmatic criteria, not individualistically construed psychological ones. This runs counter to the contemporary ways of studying moral responsibility. I show the deficiencies of such contemporary work in relation to Strawson by critically examining the positions of John Martin Fischer and Mark (...)
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  • Abortion, Property, and Liberty.William Simkulet - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (4):373-383.
    In “Abortion and Ownership” John Martin Fischer argues that in Judith Jarvis Thomson’s violinist case you have a moral obligation not to unplug yourself from the violinist. Fischer comes to this conclusion by comparing the case with Joel Feinberg’s cabin case, in which he contends a stranger is justified in using your cabin to stay alive. I argue that the relevant difference between these cases is that while the stranger’s right to life trumps your right to property in the cabin (...)
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  • Mad, Bad, or Disagreeing? On Moral Competence and Responsibility.Maureen Sie - 2000 - Philosophical Explorations 3 (3):262 – 281.
    Suppose that there is no real distinction between 'mad' and 'bad' because every truly bad-acting agent, proves to be a morally incompetent one. If this is the case: should we not change our ordinary interpersonal relationships in which we blame people for the things they do? After all, if people literally always act to 'the best of their abilities' nobody is ever to blame for the wrong they commit, whether these wrong actions are 'horrible monster'-like crimes or trivial ones, such (...)
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  • Uncompromising Source Incompatibilism.Seth Shabo - 2010 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):349-383.
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  • The Fate of the Direct Argument and the Case for Incompatibilism.Seth Shabo - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (3):405-424.
    In this paper, I distinguish causal from logical versions of the direct argument for incompatibilism. I argue that, contrary to appearances, causal versions are better equipped to withstand an important recent challenge to the direct-argument strategy. The challenge involves arguing that support for the argument’s pivotal inference principle falls short just when it is needed most, namely when a deterministic series runs through an agent’s unimpaired deliberations. I then argue that, while there are limits to what causal versions can accomplish, (...)
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  • Robustness Revised: Frankfurt Cases and the Right Kind of Power to Do Otherwise.Seth Shabo - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):89-106.
    Frankfurt’s famous counterexample strategy challenges the traditional association between moral responsibility and alternative possibilities. While this strategy remains controversial, it is now widely agreed that an adequate response to it must preserve an agent’s ability to do otherwise, and not the mere possibility, for only then is her alternative possibility sufficiently robust to ground her responsibility. Here, I defend a more stringent requirement for robustness. To have a robust alternative, I argue, the agent must have the right kind of ability, (...)
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  • It Wasn’T Up to Jones: Unavoidable Actions and Intensional Contexts in Frankfurt Examples.Seth Shabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):379-399.
    In saying that it was up to someone whether or not she acted as she did, we are attributing a distinctive sort of power to her. Understanding such power attributions is of broad importance for contemporary discussions of free will. Yet the ‘is up to…whether’ locution and its cognates have largely escaped close examination. This article aims to elucidate one of its unnoticed features, namely that such power attributions introduce intensional contexts, something that is easily overlooked because the sentences that (...)
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  • Flickers of Freedom and Modes of Action: A Reply to Timpe.Seth Shabo - 2007 - Philosophia 35 (1):63-74.
    In recent years, many incompatibilists have come to reject the traditional association of moral responsibility with alternative possibilities. Kevin Timpe argues that one such incompatibilist, Eleonore Stump, ultimately fails in her bid to sever this link. While she may have succeeded in dissociating responsibility from the freedom to perform a different action, he argues, she ends up reinforcing a related link, between responsibility and the freedom to act under a different mode. In this paper, I argue that Timpe’s response to (...)
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  • Action Explanation and the Free Will Debate: How Incompatibilist Arguments Go Wrong1.Scott Sehon - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):351-368.
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  • Weak Reasons-Responsiveness Meets its Match: In Defense of David Widerker’s Attack on PAP.Ira M. Schnall - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (2):271 - 283.
    David Widerker, long an opponent of Harry Frankfurt's attack on the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), has recently come up with his own Frankfurt-style scenario which he claims might well be a counterexample to PAP. Carlos Moya has argued that this new scenario is not a counterexample to PAP, because in it the agent is not really blameworthy, since he lacks weak reasonsresponsiveness (WRR), a property that John Fischer has argued is a necessary condition of practical rationality, and hence of (...)
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  • Weak Reasons-Responsiveness Meets its Match: In Defense of David Widerker’s Attack on PAP.Ira M. Schnall - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (2):271-283.
    David Widerker, long an opponent of Harry Frankfurt’s attack on the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, has recently come up with his own Frankfurt-style scenario which he claims might well be a counterexample to PAP. Carlos Moya has argued that this new scenario is not a counterexample to PAP, because in it the agent is not really blameworthy, since he lacks weak reasons-responsiveness, a property that John Fischer has argued is a necessary condition of practical rationality, and hence of moral responsibility. (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • The Limits of Limited-Blockage Frankfurt-Style Cases.Michael Robinson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):429-446.
    Philosophers employing Frankfurt-style cases to challenge the principle of alternative possibilities have mostly sought to construct scenarios that eliminate as many of an agent’s alternatives as possible—and all alternatives at the moment of action, within the agent’s control—without causally determining the agent’s actions. One of the chief difficulties for this traditional approach is that the closer one gets to ruling out absolutely all alternative possibilities the more it appears that agents’ actions in these cases are causally determined. “Limited-blockage” versions of (...)
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  • Modified Frankfurt-Type Counterexamples and Flickers of Freedom.Michael Robinson - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 157 (2):177-194.
    A great deal of attention has been paid recently to the claim that traditional Frankfurt-type counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), which depend for their success on the presence of a perfectly reliable indicator (or prior sign ) of what an agent will freely do if left to act on his own, are guilty of begging the question against incompatibilists, since such indicators seem to presuppose a deterministic relation between an agent’s free action and its causal antecedents. Objections (...)
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  • Free Will and Contextualism.Steven Rieber - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 129 (2):223-252.
    This paper proposes a contextualist solution to the puzzle about free will. It argues that the context-sensitivity of statements about freedom of the will follows from the correct analysis of these statements. Because the analysis is independently plausible, the contextualism is warranted not merely in virtue of its capacity to solve the puzzle.
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  • Further Thoughts About a Frankfurt-Style Argument.Derk Pereboom - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):109 – 118.
    I have presented a Frankfurt-style argument (Pereboom 2000, 2001, 2003) against the requirement of robust alternative possibilities for moral responsibility that features an example, Tax Evasion , in which an agent is intuitively morally responsible for a decision, has no robust alternative possibilities, and is clearly not causally determined to make the decision. Here I revise the criterion for robustness in response to suggestions by Dana Nelkin, Jonathan Vance, and Kevin Timpe, and I respond to objections to the argument by (...)
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  • Frankfurt Examples, Derivative Responsibility, and the Timing Objection1.Derk Pereboom - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):298-315.
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  • Can’T We All Just Be Compatibilists?: A Critical Study of John Martin Fischer’s My Way.John Perry - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (2):157-166.
    My aim in this study is not to praise Fischer's fine theory of moral responsibility, but to bury the "semi" in "semicompatibilism". I think Fischer gives the Consequence Argument too much credit, and gives himself too little credit. In his book, The Metaphysics of Free Will, Fischer gave the CA as good a statement as it will ever get, and put his finger on what is wrong with it. Then he declared stalemate rather than victory. In my view, Fischer's view (...)
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  • Does Doxastic Responsibility Entail the Ability to Believe Otherwise?Rik Peels - 2013 - Synthese 190 (17):3651-3669.
    Whether responsibility for actions and omissions requires the ability to do otherwise is an important issue in contemporary philosophy. However, a closely related but distinct issue, namely whether doxastic responsibility requires the ability to believe otherwise, has been largely neglected. This paper fills this remarkable lacuna by providing a defence of the thesis that doxastic responsibility entails the ability to believe otherwise. On the one hand, it is argued that the fact that unavoidability is normally an excuse counts in favour (...)
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  • Pereboom on the Frankfurt Cases.David Palmer - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 153 (2):261 - 272.
    According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In what follows, I want to defend this principle against an apparent counterexample offered recently by Derk Pereboom (Living without free will, 2001; Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 29: 228-247, 2005). Pereboom's case, a variant of what are known as Trankfurt cases,' is important for it attempts to overcome a dilemma posed for earlier alleged counterexamples to (...)
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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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Alternative Possibilities and the Failure of the Counterexample Strategy.Michael S. McKenna - 1997 - Journal of Social Philosophy 28 (3):71-85.
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  • Moral Responsibility and Agents' Histories.Alfred Mele - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (2):161 - 181.
    To what extent should an analysis of an agent’s being morally responsible for an action that he performed—especially a compatibilist analysis of this—be sensitive to the agent’s history? In this article, I give the issue a clearer focus than it tends to have in the literature, I lay some groundwork for an attempt to answer the question, and I motivate a partial but detailed answer.
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  • Moral Responsibility and Agents’ Histories.Alfred Mele - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (2):161-181.
    To what extent should an analysis of an agent’s being morally responsible for an action that he performed—especially a compatibilist analysis of this—be sensitive to the agent’s history? In this article, I give the issue a clearer focus than it tends to have in the literature, I lay some groundwork for an attempt to answer the question, and I motivate a partial but detailed answer.
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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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