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  1. Mindlessness Bibliography.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    This file contains the Bibliography of my book Mindlessness.
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  • Mindlessness.Ezio Di Nucci - 2013 - Cambridge Scholars Press.
    Thinking is overrated: golfers perform best when distracted and under pressure; firefighters make the right calls without a clue as to why; and you are yourself ill advised to look at your steps as you go down the stairs, or to try and remember your pin number before typing it in. Just do it, mindlessly. Both empirical psychologists and the common man have long worked out that thinking is often a bad idea, but philosophers still hang on to an intellectualist (...)
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  • The Deliberative Relevance of Refraining From Deciding: A Response to McKenna and Pereboom. [REVIEW]John Davenport - 2006 - Acta Analytica 21 (4):62 - 88.
    Readers familiar with Harry Frankfurt’s argument that we do not need leeway-liberty (or the power to bring about alternative possible actions or intentions) to be morally responsible will probably also know that the most famous and popular response on behalf of leeway-libertarianism remains a dilemma posed in similar forms by David Widerker, Robert Kane, and Carl Ginet: either the agent retains significant residual leeway in Frankfurt-style cases, or these cases beg the question by presupposing causal determinism. In the last few (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility, Alternative Possibilities, and Acting on One’s Own.Bradford Stockdale - 2022 - The Journal of Ethics 26 (1):27-40.
    Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) have famously served as counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP). The fine-grained version of the flicker defense has become one of the most popular responses to FSCs. Proponents of this defense argue that there is an alternative available to all agents in FSCs such that the cases do not show that PAP is false. Specifically, the agents could have done otherwise than decide on their own, and this available alternative is robust enough to ground moral (...)
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  • Alternate Possibilities and Moral Asymmetry.Daniel Avi Coren - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):145-159.
    Harry Frankfurt Journal of Philosophy, 66, 829–39 famously attacked what he called the principle of alternate possibilities. PAP states that being able to do otherwise is necessary for moral responsibility. He gave counterexamples to PAP known since then as “Frankfurt cases.” This paper sidesteps the enormous literature on Frankfurt cases while preserving some of our salient pretheoretical intuitions about the relation between alternate possibilities and moral responsibility. In particular, I introduce, explain, and defend a principle that has so far been (...)
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  • 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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  • Foreknowledge and Free Will.Linda Zagzebski - 2011 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:online.
  • Compatibilism.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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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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  • Frankfurt's Argument Against Alternative Possibilities: Looking Beyond the Examples.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):770-793.
    Harry Frankfurt dramatically shaped the debates over freedom and responsibility by arguing that the sort of freedom germane to responsibility does not involve the freedom to do otherwise. His argument turns upon an example meant to disprove the Principle of Alternative Possibilities: A person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Debate over Frankfurt's argument has turned almost exclusively on the success of the example meant to defeat it. But there is more (...)
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  • Does Libertarian Freedom Require Alternate Possibilities?Linda Zagzebski - 2000 - Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):231-248.
  • Agency Without Avoidability: Defusing a New Threat to Frankfurt’s Counterexample Strategy1.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):505-522.
    In this paper, I examine a new line of response to Frankfurt’s challenge to the traditional association of moral responsibility with the ability to do otherwise. According to this response, Frankfurt’s counterexample strategy fails, not in light of the conditions for moral responsibility per se, but in view of the conditions for action. Specifically, it is claimed, a piece of behavior counts as an action only if it is within the agent’s power to avoid performing it. In so far as (...)
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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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  • Fairness, Agency and the Flicker of Freedom.Helen Steward - 2009 - Noûs 43 (1):64 - 93.
    This paper argues for the replacement of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by an alternative principle, the Principle of Possible Non-Performance, which it is argued represents an important improvement on the Principle of Alternate Possibilities in the context of Frankfurt-style examples. The suggestion that the principle offers only the possibility of something insufficiently 'robust' to supply a decent replacement to PAP is countered.
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  • The Impertinence of Frankfurt-Style Argument.Daniel James Speak - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):76-95.
    Discussions of the principle of alternative possibilities have largely ignored the limits of what Frankfurt-style counter-examples can show. Rather than challenging the coherence of the cases, I argue that even if they are taken to demonstrate the falsity of the principle, they cannot advance the compatibilist cause. For a forceful incompatibilist argument can be constructed from the Frankfurtian premise that agents in Frankfurtian circumstances would have done what they did even if they could have done something else. This 'counterfactual stability' (...)
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  • Moral Bio-Enhancement, Freedom, Value and the Parity Principle.Jonathan Pugh - 2019 - Topoi 38 (1):73-86.
    A prominent objection to non-cognitive moral bio-enhancements is that they would compromise the recipient’s ‘freedom to fall’. I begin by discussing some ambiguities in this objection, before outlining an Aristotelian reading of it. I suggest that this reading may help to forestall Persson and Savulescu’s ‘God-Machine’ criticism; however, I suggest that the objection still faces the problem of explaining why the value of moral conformity is insufficient to outweigh the value of the freedom to fall itself. I also question whether (...)
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  • A Dilemma for Morally Responsible Time Travelers.Kelly McCormick - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (2):379-389.
    In this paper I argue that new attempts to undermine the principle of alternative possibilities via appeal to time travel fail. My argument targets a version of a Frankfurt-style counterexample to the principle recently developed by Spencer. I argue that in avoiding one prominent objection to standard Frankfurt-style counterexamples Spencer’s time travel case runs afoul of another. Furthermore, the very feature of the case which makes it initially appealing also makes it impossible to revise the case such that it can (...)
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  • It Wasn’T Up to Jones: Unavoidable Actions and Intensional Contexts in Frankfurt Examples.Seth Shabo - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):379-399.
    In saying that it was up to someone whether or not she acted as she did, we are attributing a distinctive sort of power to her. Understanding such power attributions is of broad importance for contemporary discussions of free will. Yet the ‘is up to…whether’ locution and its cognates have largely escaped close examination. This article aims to elucidate one of its unnoticed features, namely that such power attributions introduce intensional contexts, something that is easily overlooked because the sentences that (...)
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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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  • Blocking Blockage.Ken Levy - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):565-583.
    The Blockage Argument is designed to improve upon Harry Frankfurt’s famous argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by removing the counterfactual intervener altogether. If the argument worked, then it would prove in a way that Frankfurt’s argument does not that moral responsibility does not require any alternative possibilities whatsoever, not even the weakest “flicker of freedom”. -/- Some philosophers have rejected the Blockage Argument solely on the basis of their intuition that the inability to do otherwise is incompatible with (...)
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  • Avoiding and Alternate Possibilities.Ezio Di Nucci - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):1001-1007.
    Greg Janzen has recently criticised my defence of Frankfurt’s counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by arguing that Jones avoids killing Smith in the counterfactual scenario. Janzen’s argument consists in introducing a new thought-experiment which is supposed to be analogous to Frankfurt’s and where the agent is supposed to avoid A-ing. Here I argue that Janzen’s argument fails on two counts, because his new scenario is not analogous to Frankfurt’s and because the agent in his new scenario does not (...)
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  • Responsibility and Self-Expression.John Martin Fischer - 1999 - The Journal of Ethics 3 (4):277-297.
    I present two different models of moral responsibility -- two different accounts of what we value in behavior for which the agent can legitimately be held morally responsible. On the first model, what we value is making a certain sort of difference to the world. On the second model, which I favor, we value a certain kind of self-expression. I argue that if one adopts the self-expression view, then one will be inclined to accept that moral responsibility need not require (...)
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  • Masked Abilities and Compatibilism.M. Fara - 2008 - Mind 117 (468):843-865.
    An object's disposition to A in circumstances C is masked if circumstances C obtain without the object Aing. This paper explores an analogous sense in which abilities can be masked, and it uses the results of this exploration to motivate an analysis of agents' abilities in terms of dispositions. This analysis is then shown to provide the resources to defend a version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities against Frankfurt-style counterexamples. Although this principle is often taken to be congenial to (...)
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  • Frankfurt Versus Frankfurt: A New Anti-Causalist Dawn.Ezio Di Nucci - 2011 - Philosophical Explorations 14 (1):117-131.
    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 (...)
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  • On Young’s Version of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities.Daniel Coren - 2017 - Philosophia 45 (2):585-594.
    Harry Frankfurt (1969) famously gave cases in which an agent lacks alternate possibilities and yet seems morally responsible. Such cases purportedly falsify the Principle of Alternate Possibilities, which states that the ability to do otherwise is necessary for moral responsibility. There is an enormous body of literature debating whether or not Frankfurt cases and their variants do in fact falsify PAP. In order to sidestep Frankfurt cases altogether, Garry Young (2016) argues for a different version of PAP, namely, PAP, on (...)
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  • Source Compatibilism and That Pesky Ability to Do Otherwise: Comments on Dana Nelkin’s Making Sense of Freedom and Responsibility. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (1):105-116.
  • Blocking Blockage.Ken Levy - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):565-582.
    The Blockage Argument is designed to improve upon Harry Frankfurt’s famous argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities by removing the counterfactual intervener altogether. If the argument worked, then it would prove in a way that Frankfurt’s argument does not that moral responsibility does not require any alternative possibilities whatsoever, not even the weakest “flicker of freedom”. Some philosophers have rejected the Blockage Argument solely on the basis of their intuition that the inability to do otherwise is incompatible with moral (...)
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  • The Dialectic Role of the Flickers of Freedom.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):337-368.
    One well-known incompatibilist response to Frankfurt-style counterexamples is the ‘flicker-of-freedom strategy’. The flicker strategy claims that even in a Frankfurt-style counterexample, there are still morally relevant alternative possibilities. In the present paper, I differentiate between two distinct understandings of the flicker strategy, as the failure to differentiate these two versions has led some philosophers to argue at cross-purposes. I also explore the respective dialectic roles that the two versions of the flicker strategy play in the debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists. (...)
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  • Moral Responsibility and the Principle of Avoidable Blame.Gerald K. Harrison - 2004 - [email protected] - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 3 (1):37-46.
    Many now accept that Frankfurt-style cases refute the principle of alternative possibilities . But, in this paper I argue that even if Frankfurt-style cases refute PAP they do not refute a related principle: the principle of avoidable blame . My argument develops from the observation that an agent in a Frankfurt-style case can be aware of the nature of their situation without this undermining their moral responsibility. I then argue that PAB captures all that is important about PAP such that (...)
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  • Refuting a Frankfurtian Objection to Frankfurt-Type Counterexamples.Ezio Di Nucci - 2010 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):207 - 213.
    In this paper I refute an apparently obvious objection to Frankfurt-type counterexamples to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities according to which if in the counterfactual scenario the agent does not act, then the agent could have avoided acting in the actual scenario. And because what happens in the counterfactual scenario cannot count as the relevant agent's actions given the sort of external control that agent is under, then we can ground responsibility on that agent having been able to avoid acting. (...)
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  • Robustness Revised: Frankfurt Cases and the Right Kind of Power to Do Otherwise.Seth Shabo - 2016 - Acta Analytica 31 (1):89-106.
    Frankfurt’s famous counterexample strategy challenges the traditional association between moral responsibility and alternative possibilities. While this strategy remains controversial, it is now widely agreed that an adequate response to it must preserve an agent’s ability to do otherwise, and not the mere possibility, for only then is her alternative possibility sufficiently robust to ground her responsibility. Here, I defend a more stringent requirement for robustness. To have a robust alternative, I argue, the agent must have the right kind of ability, (...)
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