Libertarian Freedom and the Avoidability of Decisions

Faith and Philosophy 12 (1):113-118 (1995)
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Recently, John Fischer has applied Frankfurt’s well-known counter-example to the principle of alternate possibilities to refute the traditional libertarian position which holds that a necessary condition for an agent’s decision to be free in the sense of freedom required for moral responsibility is that the decision not be causally determined, and that the agent could have avoided making it. Fischer’s argument has consequently led various philosophers to develop libertarian accounts of freedom which try to dispense with the avoidability constraint on freedom. My purpose in this article is to show that Fischer’s attack on traditional libertarianism fails, and, therefore, it is premature to abandon that position.
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