The Threat from Manipulation Arguments

American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (1):37-50 (2018)
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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 moral responsibility. This paper argues that if there is a counterexample to all the leading compatibilist conditions on moral responsibility then this is sufficient to undermine compatibilism.

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Benjamin Matheson
University of Bern


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