Frankfurt cases: the fine-grained response revisited

Philosophical Studies 174 (4):967-981 (2017)
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Frankfurt cases are supposed to provide us with counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities. Among the most well known responses to these cases is what John Fischer has dubbed the flicker of freedom strategy. Here we revisit a version of this strategy, which we refer to as the fine-grained response. Although a number of philosophers, including some who are otherwise unsympathetic to Frankfurt’s argument, have dismissed the fine grained response, we believe there is a good deal to be said on its behalf. We argue, in particular, that reflection on certain cases involving omissions undermines the main objections to the response and also provides the groundwork for an argument in support of it.

Author Profiles

Justin A. Capes
Flagler College
Philip Swenson
William & Mary


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