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  1. Neo-Frankfurtians and Buffer Cases: The New Challenge to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 152 (2):189–207.
    The debate over whether Frankfurt-style cases are counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities has taken an interesting turn in recent years. Frankfurt originally envisaged his attack as an attempting to show that PAP is false—that the ability to do otherwise is not necessary for moral responsibility. To many this attack has failed. But Frankfurtians have not conceded defeat. Neo-Frankfurtians, as I will call them, argue that the upshot of Frankfurt-style cases is not that PAP is false, but that it (...)
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  • Responsibility.Neal A. Tognazzini - 2013 - In Hugh LaFollette (ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. Wiley-Blackwell. pp. 4592-4602.
    In this encyclopedia entry I sketch the way contemporary theorists understand moral responsibility -- its varieties, its requirements, and its puzzles.
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  • Arguments for Incompatibilism.Kadri Vihvelin - 2003/2017 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Determinism is a claim about the laws of nature: very roughly, it is the claim that everything that happens is determined by antecedent conditions together with the natural laws. Incompatibilism is a philosophical thesis about the relevance of determinism to free will: that the truth of determinism rules out the existence of free will. The incompatibilist believes that if determinism turned out to be true, it would also be true that we don't have, and have never had, free will. The (...)
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  • Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    “Free Will” is a philosophical term of art for a particular sort of capacity of rational agents to choose a course of action from among various alternatives. Which sort is the free will sort is what all the fuss is about. (And what a fuss it has been: philosophers have debated this question for over two millenia, and just about every major philosopher has had something to say about it.) Most philosophers suppose that the concept of free will is very (...)
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  • Compatibilism.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Nonconsensual Neurocorrectives, Bypassing, and Free Action.Gabriel De Marco - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (6):1953-1972.
    As neuroscience progresses, we will not only gain a better understanding of how our brains work, but also a better understanding of how to modify them, and as a result, our mental states. An important question we are faced with is whether the state could be justified in implementing such methods on criminal offenders, without their consent, for the purposes of rehabilitation and reduction of recidivism; a practice that is already legal in some jurisdictions. By focusing on a prominent type (...)
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  • The Trouble with Harry.Don S. Levi - 2014 - Nordic Wittgenstein Review 3 (1):91-111.
    The Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), according to which we are responsible for what we did only if we could have done otherwise, is relied upon in the argument for the incompatibility of free will and determinism. Compatibilists, like Harry Frankfurt, attack PAP with stories that they devise as counter-examples; why are their stories, and the stories devised by defenders of PAP, so bad? Answers that suggest themselves are that these philosophers do not try to imagine how things actually unfolded; (...)
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  • On the Very Idea of a Robust Alternative.Carlos J. Moya - 2011 - Critica 43 (128):3-26.
    According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, an agent is morally responsible for an action of hers only if she could have done otherwise. The notion of a robust alternative plays a prominent role in recent attacks on PAP based on so-called Frankfurt cases. In this paper I defend the truth of PAP for blameworthy actions against Frankfurt cases recently proposed by Derk Pereboom and David Widerker. My defence rests on some intuitively plausible principles that yield a new understanding of (...)
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  • Blame It on the AI? On the Moral Responsibility of Artificial Moral Advisors.Mihaela Constantinescu, Constantin Vică, Radu Uszkai & Cristina Voinea - 2022 - Philosophy and Technology 35 (2):1-26.
    Deep learning AI systems have proven a wide capacity to take over human-related activities such as car driving, medical diagnosing, or elderly care, often displaying behaviour with unpredictable consequences, including negative ones. This has raised the question whether highly autonomous AI may qualify as morally responsible agents. In this article, we develop a set of four conditions that an entity needs to meet in order to be ascribed moral responsibility, by drawing on Aristotelian ethics and contemporary philosophical research. We encode (...)
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  • Weak Reasons-Responsiveness Meets its Match: In Defense of David Widerker’s Attack on PAP.Ira M. Schnall - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (2):271 - 283.
    David Widerker, long an opponent of Harry Frankfurt's attack on the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), has recently come up with his own Frankfurt-style scenario which he claims might well be a counterexample to PAP. Carlos Moya has argued that this new scenario is not a counterexample to PAP, because in it the agent is not really blameworthy, since he lacks weak reasonsresponsiveness (WRR), a property that John Fischer has argued is a necessary condition of practical rationality, and hence of (...)
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  • Making a Difference in a Deterministic World.Carolina Sartorio - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (2):189-214.
    Some philosophers have claimed that causally determined agents are not morally responsible because they cannot make a difference in the world. A recent response by philosophers who defend the compatibility of determinism and responsibility has been to concede that causally determined agents are incapable of making a difference, but to argue that responsibility is not grounded in difference making. These compatibilists have rested such a claim on Frankfurt cases—cases where agents are intuitively responsible for acts that they couldn’t have failed (...)
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  • An ability-based theory of responsibility for collective omissions.Joseph Metz - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (8):2665-2685.
    Many important harms result in large part from our collective omissions, such as harms from our omissions to stop climate change and famines. Accounting for responsibility for collective omissions turns out to be particularly challenging. It is hard to see how an individual contributes anything to a collective omission to prevent harm if she couldn’t have made a difference to that harm on her own. Some groups are able to prevent such harms, but it is highly contentious whether groups can (...)
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  • The Modal Problem of Creatio Ex Nihilo.Pao-Shen Ho - 2020 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 88 (2):197-213.
    I first provide an interpretation of the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo based on the Fourth Lateran Council, according to which God creates from nothing if and only if God creates everything except God Himself. I then show that this doctrine entails the modal problem that it is both possible and not possible that there is nothing at all except God, or alternatively, that it is both necessary and not necessary that there is something else besides God. I proceed to (...)
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  • Crossing the Line: New Intuitions Behind Frankfurt-Type Cases.Aleksandr Mishura - 2017 - Axiomathes 27 (4):393-402.
    Frankfurt-type cases with covered manipulation received a great attention in the debates about freedom of will and moral responsibility. They pretend to give the refutation of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities and to show that we can intuitively blame or praise an agent who was not able to do otherwise. In this paper, I will try to make explicit some basic intuitions underlying the agent’s responsibility in Frankfurt-type cases, which were surprisingly ignored in the contemporary debates. The key intuition is (...)
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  • A Paradox Concerning Frankfurt Examples.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):87-103.
    The set with the following members is inconsistent: F-Lesson: A person can be blameworthy for performing an action even though she cannot refrain from performing it. Equivalence: ‘Ought not’ is equivalent to ‘impermissible.’ OIC: ‘Ought’ implies ‘can’ and ‘ought not’ implies ‘can refrain from.’ BRI: Necessarily, one is morally blameworthy for doing something only if it is overall morally impermissible for one to do it. Since Equivalence seems unassailable, one can escape the inconsistency by renouncing any one of the other (...)
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  • Everyone Thinks That an Ability to Do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility.Christopher Evan Franklin - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2091-2107.
    Seemingly one of the most prominent issues that divide theorists about free will and moral responsibility concerns whether the ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility. I defend two claims in this paper. First, that this appearance is illusory: everyone thinks an ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility. The central issue is not whether the ability to do otherwise is necessary for freedom and responsibility but which abilities to do otherwise are necessary. Second, (...)
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  • Blame and Avoidability: A Reply to Otsuka.John Martin Fischer & Neal A. Tognazzini - 2010 - The Journal of Ethics 14 (1):43 - 51.
    In a fascinating recent article, Michael Otsuka seeks to bypass the debates about the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by presenting and defending a different, but related, principle, which he calls the “Principle of Avoidable Blame.” According to this principle, one is blameworthy for performing an act only if one could instead have behaved in an entirely blameless manner. Otsuka claims that although Frankfurt-cases do undermine the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, they do not undermine the Principle of Avoidable Blame. In this (...)
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  • New Essays on the Metaphysics of Moral Responsibility.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):193 - 201.
    This is the introduction to a volume of new essays in the metaphysics of moral responsibility by John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Ishtiyaque Haji, Alfred R. Mele, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, and Peter van Inwagen. I provide some background for the essays, cover the main debates in the metaphysics of moral responsibility, and emphasize some of the authors' contributions to this area of philosophy.
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  • Free Will and Psychiatric Assessments of Criminal Responsibility: A Parallel with Informed Consent. [REVIEW]Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 13 (4):313-320.
    In some criminal cases a forensic psychiatrist is asked to make an assessment of the state of mind of the defendant at the time of the legally relevant act. A considerable number of people seem to hold that the basis for this assessment is that free will is required for legal responsibility, and that mental disorders can compromise free will. In fact, because of the alleged relationship between the forensic assessment and free will, researchers in forensic psychiatry also consider the (...)
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  • Free Will and Moral Responsibility: The Trap, the Appreciation of Agency, and the Bubble. [REVIEW]Saul Smilansky - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):211-239.
    In Part I, I reflect in some detail upon the free will problem and about the way its understanding has radically changed. First I outline the four questions that go into making the free will problem. Second, I consider four paradigmatic shifts that have occurred in our understanding of this problem. Then I go on to reflect upon this complex and multi-level situation. In Part II of this essay, I explore the major alternative positions, and defend my views, in new (...)
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  • Free Will in Context.Patrick Grim - 2007 - Behavioral Science and the Law 25:183-201.
    Philosophical work on free will, contemporary as well as historical, is inevitably framed by the problem of free will and determinism. One of my goals in what follows is to give a feel for the main lines of that debate in philosophy today. I will also be outlining a particular perspective on free will. Many working philosophers consider themselves Compatibilists; the perspective outlined, building on a number of arguments in the recent literature, is a contemporary form of such a view. (...)
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  • Anti-Luck Epistemology and the Gettier Problem.Duncan Pritchard - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (1):93-111.
    A certain construal of the Gettier problem is offered, according to which this problem concerns the task of identifying the anti-luck condition on knowledge. A methodology for approaching this construal of the Gettier problem—anti-luck epistemology—is set out, and the utility of such a methodology is demonstrated. It is argued that a range of superficially distinct cases which are meant to pose problems for anti-luck epistemology are in fact related in significant ways. It is claimed that with these cases properly understood, (...)
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  • The Problem of Many Hands: Climate Change as an Example.Ibo van de Poel, Jessica Fahlquist, Neelke Doorn, Sjoerd Zwart & Lambèr Royakkers - 2012 - Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (1):49-67.
    In some situations in which undesirable collective effects occur, it is very hard, if not impossible, to hold any individual reasonably responsible. Such a situation may be referred to as the problem of many hands. In this paper we investigate how the problem of many hands can best be understood and why, and when, it exactly constitutes a problem. After analyzing climate change as an example, we propose to define the problem of many hands as the occurrence of a gap (...)
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  • A Critique of Frankfurt-Libertarianism.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):189-202.
    Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action. I briefly argue (...)
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  • Blame and the Humean Theory of Motivation.Adam Thompson - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (3):1345-1364.
    A classic, though basically neglected question about motivation arises when we attempt to account for blame’s nature—namely, does the recognition central to blame need help from an independent desire in order to motivate the blame-characteristic dispositions that arise in the blamer? Those who have attended to the question think the answer is yes. Hence, they adopt what I call a Humean Construal of blame on which blame is (a) a judgment that an individual S is blameworthy and (b) an independent (...)
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  • Action, Responsibility and the Ability to Do Otherwise.Justin A. Capes - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):1-15.
    Here it is argued that in order for something someone “does” to count as a genuine action, the person needn’t have been able to refrain from doing it. If this is right, then two recent defenses of the principle of alternative possibilities, a version of which says that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have refrained from doing it, are unsuccessful.
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  • The Limits of Limited-Blockage Frankfurt-Style Cases.Michael Robinson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):429-446.
    Philosophers employing Frankfurt-style cases to challenge the principle of alternative possibilities have mostly sought to construct scenarios that eliminate as many of an agent’s alternatives as possible—and all alternatives at the moment of action, within the agent’s control—without causally determining the agent’s actions. One of the chief difficulties for this traditional approach is that the closer one gets to ruling out absolutely all alternative possibilities the more it appears that agents’ actions in these cases are causally determined. “Limited-blockage” versions of (...)
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  • Irrelevant Alternatives and Frankfurt Counterfactuals.Dana K. Nelkin - 2004 - Philosophical Studies 121 (1):1-25.
    In rejecting the Principle of AlternatePossibilities (PAP), Harry Frankfurt makes useof a special sort of counterfactual of thefollowing form: ``he wouldn''t have doneotherwise even if he could have''''. Recently,other philosophers (e.g., Susan Hurley (1999,2003) and Michael Zimmerman (2002)) haveappealed to a special class of counterfactualsof this same general form in defending thecompatibility of determinism andresponsibility. In particular, they claim thatit can be true of agents that even if they aredetermined, and so cannot do otherwise, theywouldn''t have done otherwise even if (...)
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  • Responsibility and the Kinds of Freedom.John Martin Fischer - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):203 - 228.
    In this paper I seek to identify different sorts of freedom putatively linked to moral responsibility; I then explore the relationship between such notions of freedom and the Consequence Argument, on the one hand, and the Frankfurt-examples, on the other. I focus (in part) on a dilemma: if a compatibilist adopts a broadly speaking "conditional" understanding of freedom in reply to the Consequence Argument, such a theorist becomes vulnerable in a salient way to the Frankfurt-examples.
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  • Dispositions, Abilities to Act, and Free Will: The New Dispositionalism.Randolph Clarke - 2009 - Mind 118 (470):323-351.
    This paper examines recent attempts to revive a classic compatibilist position on free will, according to which having an ability to perform a certain action is having a certain disposition. Since having unmanifested dispositions is compatible with determinism, having unexercised abilities to act, it is held, is likewise compatible. Here it is argued that although there is a kind of capacity to act possession of which is a matter of having a disposition, the new dispositionalism leaves unresolved the main points (...)
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  • Free Will and Mental Disorder: Exploring the Relationship.Gerben Meynen - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 31 (6):429-443.
    A link between mental disorder and freedom is clearly present in the introduction of the fourth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV). It mentions “an important loss of freedom” as one of the possible defining features of mental disorder. Meanwhile, it remains unclear how “an important loss of freedom” should be understood. In order to get a clearer view on the relationship between mental disorder and (a loss of) freedom, in this article, I will explore (...)
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  • Doing One's Best, Alternative Possibilities, and Blameworthiness.Carlos J. Moya - 2014 - Critica 46 (136):3-26.
    My main aim in this paper is to improve and give further support to a defense of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) against Frankfurt cases which I put forward in some previous work. In the present paper I concentrate on a recent Frankfurt case, Pereboom's "Tax Evasion". After presenting the essentials of my defense of PAP and applying it to this case, I go on to consider several objections that have been (or might be) raised against it and argue (...)
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  • Power and Moral Responsibility.Thomas Pink - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):127 – 149.
    Our moral responsibility for our actions seems to depend on our possession of a power to determine for ourselves what actions we perform - a power of self-determination. What kind of power is this? The paper discusses what power in general might involve, what differing kinds of power there might be, and the nature of self-determination in particular. A central question is whether this power on which our moral responsibility depends is by its nature a two-way power, involving a power (...)
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  • Close Calls and the Confident Agent: Free Will, Deliberation, and Alternative Possibilities.Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):627-667.
    Two intuitions lie at the heart of our conception of free will. One intuition locates free will in our ability to deliberate effectively and control our actions accordingly: the ‘Deliberation and Control’ (DC) condition. The other intuition is that free will requires the existence of alternative possibilities for choice: the AP condition. These intuitions seem to conflict when, for instance, we deliberate well to decide what to do, and we do not want it to be possible to act in some (...)
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