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  1. Manipulation and Degrees of Blameworthiness.Martin Montminy & Daniel Tinney - 2018 - The Journal of Ethics 22 (3-4):265-281.
    We propose an original response to Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. This response combines a hard-line and a soft-line. Like hard-liners, we insist that the manipulated agent is blameworthy for his wrongdoing. However, like soft-liners, we maintain that there is a difference in blameworthiness between the manipulated agent and the non-manipulated one. The former is less blameworthy than the latter. This difference is due to the fact that it is more difficult for the manipulated agent to do the right thing. (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Manipulation Arguments, and History: Assessing the Resilience of Nonhistorical Compatibilism. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):145-174.
    Manipulation arguments for incompatibilism all build upon some example or other in which an agent is covertly manipulated into acquiring a psychic structure on the basis of which she performs an action. The featured agent, it is alleged, is manipulated into satisfying conditions compatibilists would take to be sufficient for acting freely. Such an example used in the context of an argument for incompatibilism is meant to elicit the intuition that, due to the pervasiveness of the manipulation, the agent does (...)
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  • Manipulation, Moral Responsibility, and Bullet Biting.Alfred R. Mele - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):167-184.
    This article’s guiding question is about bullet biting: When should compatibilists about moral responsibility bite the bullet in responding to stories used in arguments for incompatibilism about moral responsibility? Featured stories are vignettes in which agents’ systems of values are radically reversed by means of brainwashing and the story behind the zygote argument. The malady known as “intuition deficit disorder” is also discussed.
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  • The Threat From Manipulation Arguments.Benjamin Matheson - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):37-50.
    Most seem to presume that what is threatening about manipulation arguments is the ‘no difference’ premise – that is, the claim that there are no responsibility-relevant differences between a manipulated agent and her merely causally determined counterpart. This presumption underlies three recent replies to manipulation arguments from Kearns (2012), King (2013), and Schlosser (2015). But these replies fail to appreciate the true threat from manipulation arguments – namely, the manipulation cases that are allegedly counterexamples to the leading compatibilist conditions on (...)
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  • Get Lucky: Situationism and Circumstantial Moral Luck.Marcela Herdova & Stephen Kearns - 2015 - Philosophical Explorations 18 (3):362-377.
    Situationism is, roughly, the thesis that normatively irrelevant environmental factors have a great impact on our behaviour without our being aware of this influence. Surprisingly, there has been little work done on the connection between situationism and moral luck. Given that it is often a matter of luck what situations we find ourselves in, and that we are greatly influenced by the circumstances we face, it seems also to be a matter of luck whether we are blameworthy or praiseworthy for (...)
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  • Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature: very roughly, it is the claim that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with the natural laws. Incompatibilism is a philosophical thesis about the relevance of determinism to free will: that the truth of determinism rules out the existence of free will. The incompatibilist believes that if determinism turned out to be true, it would also be true that we don't have, and have never had, free will. The (...)
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  • Physical Determinism, Zygote-Manipulation and Responsible Agency.Ferenc Huoranszki - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1525-1540.
    Agents have no control over the formation of their own zygote. Others may do. According to a well-known argument, the so-called Zygote Argument for incompatibilism, these facts, together with a prima facie plausible further assumption, are sufficient to prove that human agents cannot be responsible for their actions if they live in a deterministic universe. This paper argues that the lack of agents’ control over the constitution of their own zygote can undermine their responsibility only in exceptional conditions and that (...)
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  • Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2015 - Noûs 49 (2):235-252.
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  • Manipulation and the Zygote Argument: Another Reply.Markus E. Schlosser - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (1):73-84.
    Alfred Mele’s zygote argument is widely considered to be the strongest version of the manipulation argument against compatibilism (about free will and determinism). Opponents have focused largely on the first of its two premises and on the overall dialectic. My focus here will be on the underlying thought experiment—the Diana scenario—and on the second premise of the argument. I will argue that reflection on the Diana scenario shows that the second premise does not hold, and we will see that my (...)
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  • Defending (a Modified Version of) the Zygote Argument.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):189-203.
    Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...)
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  • The Zygote Argument is Invalid: Now What?Kristin Mickelson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2911-2929.
    Alfred Mele’s original Zygote Argument is invalid. At most, its premises entail the negative thesis that free action is incompossible with deterministic laws, but its conclusion asserts the positive thesis that deterministic laws preclude free action. The original, explanatory conclusion of the Zygote Argument can be defended only by supplementing the Zygote Argument with a best-explanation argument that identifies deterministic laws as menacing. Arguably, though, the best explanation for the manipulation victim’s lack of freedom and responsibility is his constitutive luck, (...)
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  • How Do Manipulation Arguments Work?John Fischer - 2016 - The Journal of Ethics 20 (1-3):47-67.
    Alfred Mele has presented the Zygote Argument as a challenge to compatibilism. In previous work I have offered a critique of Mele’s first premise. Patrick Todd, Neal Tognazzini, and Derk Pereboom have offered an alternative interpretation of the argument, substituting for. Here I offer a critical evaluation of this strategy, and in the process I seek to understand the deep structure of the Zygote Argument.
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  • Manipulation Arguments and Libertarian Accounts of Free Will.Taylor W. Cyr - 2020 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 6 (1):57-73.
    In response to the increasingly popular manipulation argument against compatibilism, some have argued that libertarian accounts of free will are vulnerable to parallel manipulation arguments, and thus manipulation is not uniquely problematic for compatibilists. The main aim of this article is to give this point a more detailed development than it has previously received. Prior attempts to make this point have targeted particular libertarian accounts but cannot be generalized. By contrast, I provide an appropriately modified manipulation that targets all libertarian (...)
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  • Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very (...)
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  • The Parallel Manipulation Argument.Taylor W. Cyr - 2016 - Ethics 126 (4):1075-1089.
    Matt King has recently argued that the manipulation argument against compatibilism does not succeed by employing a dilemma: either the argument infelicitously relies on incompatibilist sourcehood conditions, or the proponent of the argument leaves a premise of the argument undefended. This article develops a reply to King’s dilemma by showing that incompatibilists can accept its second horn. Key to King’s argument for the second horn’s being problematic is “the parallel manipulation argument.” I argue that King’s use of this argument is (...)
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  • Free Will Agnosticism.Stephen Kearns - 2013 - Noûs 47 (2):235-252.
    I argue that no one knows whether there is free will.
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  • Merit, Fit, and Basic Desert.Daniel Haas - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):226-239.
    Basic desert is central to the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists over the four-case manipulation argument. I argue that there are two distinct ways of understanding the desert salient to moral responsibility; moral desert can be understood as a claim about fitting responses to an agent or as a claim about the merit of the agent. Failing to recognize this distinction has contributed to a stalemate between both sides. I suggest that recognizing these distinct approaches to moral desert will help (...)
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  • The Threat of Effective Intentions to Moral Responsibility in the Zygote Argument.Robyn Repko Waller - 2013 - Philosophia 42 (1):209-222.
    In Free Will and Luck, Mele presents a case of an agent Ernie, whose zygote was intentionally designed so that Ernie A-s in 30 years, bringing about a certain event E. Mele uses this case of original design to outline the zygote argument against compatibilism. In this paper I criticize the zygote argument. Unlike other compatibilists who have responded to the zygote argument, I contend that it is open to the compatibilist to accept premise one, that Ernie does not act (...)
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  • In Defence of the Four-Case Argument.Benjamin Matheson - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (7):1963-1982.
    Pereboom’s Four-Case Argument was once considered to be the most powerful of the manipulation arguments against compatibilism. However, because of Demetriou’s :595–617, 2010) response, Pereboom has significantly weakened his argument. Manipulation arguments in general have also been challenged by King : 65–83, 2013). In this paper, I argue that the Four-Case Argument resists both these challenges. One upshot is that Pereboom doesn’t need weaken his argument. Another is that compatibilists still need a response the Four-Case Argument. And another is that (...)
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