The Direct Argument for Incompatibilism

In David Palmer (ed.), David Palmer (ed.) Libertarian Free Will, Oxford University Press, 2014, pp. 88-106. Oxford University Press. pp. 88-106 (2014)
Download Edit this record How to cite View on PhilPapers
Peter van Inwagen's Direct Argument (DA) purports to establish the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility, without appealing to the notion of avoidability, a notion on whose analysis compatibilists and incompatibilists disagree. Van Inwagen intended DA to refute compatibilism, or at least to shift the burden of proof onto the compatibilist. In this paper, we offer a critical assessment of DA. We examine a variety of objections to DA due to John Fischer and Mark Ravizza, Ishtiyaque Haji, Seth Shabo, Michael McKenna, and David Widerker. We divide these objections into those based on dialectical considerations (section 1), and objections in the form of counterexamples to a central principle which the Direct Argument employs (sec 2). The conclusion we reach is that the proponent of DA can deal plausibly with these objections, thus establishing DA as a powerful argument in favor of incompatibilism.
PhilPapers/Archive ID
Upload history
Archival date: 2016-05-25
View other versions
Added to PP index

Total views
323 ( #20,852 of 2,455,424 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
75 ( #8,983 of 2,455,424 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads since first upload
This graph includes both downloads from PhilArchive and clicks on external links on PhilPapers.