Philosophical Review 117 (3):349-383 (2008)

Authors
Michael McKenna
University of Arizona
Abstract
Peter van Inwagen contends that nonresponsibility transfers across deterministic relations. Suppose it does. If the facts of the past and the laws of nature entail every truth about what one does, and no one is even in part morally responsible for the past and the laws, then no one is even in part morally responsible for what one does. This argument, the Direct Argument, has drawn various critics, who have attempted to produce counterexamples to its core inference principle. This article considers two notable efforts, one by John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza and another by David Widerker. It shows that neither is sufficient to reject the Direct Argument. The article then proceeds to challenge the argument in a novel fashion. Van Inwagen has not given us good reason to think that the principle in question has an adequate anchor in our inferential practices, especially in light of the dialectical context with the compatibilist. Hence, it is not the compatibilists' burden to produce counterexamples to it. Rather, it is van Inwagen's burden to produce relevant confirming instances of it.
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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DOI 10.1215/00318108-2008-002
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References found in this work BETA

Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person.Harry Frankfurt - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (1):5-20.
An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.

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Citations of this work BETA

Responsibility for Necessities.Stephen Kearns - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):307-324.
A Counterexample to A.Charles Hermes - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):387-389.
Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Non-Responsibility.Justin Capes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1477-1495.

View all 12 citations / Add more citations

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9 The Transfer of Nonresponsibility.John Martin Fischer - 2004 - In Joseph K. Campbell (ed.), Freedom and Determinism. Cambridge Ma: Bradford Book/Mit Press.
Responsibility for Necessities.Stephen Kearns - 2011 - Philosophical Studies 155 (2):307-324.

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