Frankfurt versus Frankfurt: a new anti-causalist dawn

Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):117-131 (2011)
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In this paper I argue that there is an important anomaly to the causalist/compatibilist paradigm in the philosophy of action and free will. This anomaly, which to my knowledge has gone unnoticed so far, can be found in the philosophy of Harry Frankfurt. Two of his most important contributions to the field – his influential counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities and his ‘guidance’ view of action – are incompatible. The importance of this inconsistency goes far beyond the issue of coherence within Frankfurt’s philosophy. I shall argue that this inconsistency represents an important anomaly within the causalist/compatibilist framework; so that we should start to seriously consider having to move on from the established paradigm.

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Ezio Di Nucci
University of Copenhagen


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