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Justin A. Capes [16]Justin Capes [7]
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Justin A. Capes
Flagler College
  1. Blameworthiness Without Wrongdoing.Justin A. Capes - 2012 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):417-437.
    In this article I argue that it is possible to be blameworthy for doing something that was not objectively morally wrong. If I am right, this would have implications for several debates at the intersection of metaphysics and moral philosophy. I also float a view about which actions can serve as legitimate bases for blame that allows for the possibility of blameworthiness without objective wrongdoing and also suggests an explanation for the appeal of the commonly held view that blameworthiness requires (...)
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  2. Frankfurt Cases: The Fine-Grained Response Revisited.Justin A. Capes & Philip Swenson - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (4):967-981.
    Frankfurt cases are supposed to provide us with counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities. Among the most well known responses to these cases is what John Fischer has dubbed the flicker of freedom strategy. Here we revisit a version of this strategy, which we refer to as the fine-grained response. Although a number of philosophers, including some who are otherwise unsympathetic to Frankfurt’s argument, have dismissed the fine grained response, we believe there is a good deal to be said (...)
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  3. Incompatibilist (Nondeterministic) Theories of Free Will.Randolph Clarke & Justin Capes - unknown - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    To have free will is to have what it takes to act freely. When an agent acts freely—when she exercises her free will—what she does is up to her. A plurality of alternatives is open to her, and she determines which she pursues. When she does, she is an ultimate source or origin of her action. So runs a familiar conception of free will.
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  4.  95
    Mitigating Soft Compatibilism.Justin A. Capes - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):640-663.
    According to what I will call mitigating soft compatibilism, although the truth of determinism is consistent with free action and moral responsibility, determinism nevertheless mitigates praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. In this paper, I take a closer look at this novel brand of compatibilism. My principal aim in doing so is to further explicate the view and to explore ways in which it can be deployed in defense of the more general compatibilist thesis. I also discuss one of the most pressing challenges (...)
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  5. 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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  6.  65
    Incompatibilism and the Transfer of Non-Responsibility.Justin Capes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (6):1477-1495.
    Arguments for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility sometimes make use of various transfer of non-responsibility principles. These principles purport to specify conditions in which lack of moral responsibility is transmitted to the consequences of things for which people are not morally responsible. In this paper, after developing what I take to be the most serious objections to extant principles of this sort, I identify and defend a new transfer of non-responsibility principle that is immune to these and other (...)
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  7.  19
    Against (Modified) Buffer Cases.Justin A. Capes - 2022 - Philosophical Studies 179 (3):711-723.
    I defend the principle of alternative possibilities against what are sometimes known as buffer cases, which are supposed by some to be counterexamples to the principle. I develop an existing problem with the claim that standard buffer cases are counterexamples to PAP, before responding to a recent attempt by Michael McKenna to modify the cases in a way that circumvents this problem. While McKenna’s strategy does avoid the problem, I argue that it faces a different difficulty. I conclude that buffer (...)
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  8.  43
    Rule A.P. Roger Turner & Justin Capes - 2018 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 99 (4):580-595.
    Rule A: if it's metaphysically necessary that p, we may validly infer that no one is even partly morally responsible for the fact that p. Our principal aim in this article is to highlight the importance of this rule and to respond to two recent challenges to it. We argue that rule A is more important to contemporary theories of moral responsibility than has previously been recognized. We then consider two recent challenges to the rule and argue that neither challenge (...)
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  9.  41
    Strict Moral Liability.Justin A. Capes - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):52-71.
    :Strict liability in tort law is thought by some to have a moral counterpart. In this essay I attempt to determine whether there is, in fact, strict liability in the moral domain. I argue that there is, and I critically evaluate several accounts of its normative foundations before suggesting one of my own.
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  10. The W-Defense.Justin A. Capes - 2010 - Philosophical Studies 150 (1):61-77.
    There has been a great deal of critical discussion of Harry Frankfurt’s argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), almost all of which has focused on whether the Frankfurt-style examples, which are designed to be counterexamples to PAP, can be given a coherent formulation. Recently, however, David Widerker has argued that even if Frankfurt-style examples can be given a coherent formulation, there is reason to believe that an agent in those examples could never be morally blameworthy for what she (...)
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  11.  55
    The Flicker of Freedom: A Reply to Stump.Justin A. Capes - 2014 - The Journal of Ethics 18 (4):427-435.
    In a fascinating article in The Journal of Ethics, Eleonore Stump contends that while the flicker of freedom defense is the best available strategy for defending the principle of alternative possibilities against the threat posed to that principle by the Frankfurt cases, the defense is ultimately unsuccessful. In this article I identify a number of difficulties with Stump’s criticism of the flicker strategy. Along the way, I also clarify various nuances of the strategy that often get overlooked, and I highlight (...)
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  12.  76
    Freedom with Causation.Justin Capes - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (2):327-338.
    Our actions have causes, some of which are beyond our control. Of that there can be no serious doubt. Some worry that this fact undermines the commonsense view that we perform free actions for which we are morally responsible. My aim in this article is to show that such worries are unfounded and, consequently, that pure non-causal theories of free action, according to which free actions must be entirely uncaused, are false. My argument for this conclusion doesn’t presuppose the cogency (...)
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  13. Blameworthiness and Buffered Alternatives.Justin A. Capes - 2016 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (3):269-280.
    Frankfurt cases are designed to be counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities, a version of which states that an agent is blameworthy for what she did only if there was an alternative course of action available to her at the time, the availability of which is relevant per se to an explanation of why the agent is blameworthy for her action. In this article, I argue that the buffer cases, which are among the most promising and influential Frankfurt cases (...)
     
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  14.  35
    Gut-Wrenching Choices and Blameworthiness.Justin Capes - 2014 - Journal of Value Inquiry 48 (4):577-585.
    While there is no shortage of disagreement about what is required for blameworthiness, it has traditionally been assumed that freely doing what you know to be wrong all things considered, despite being aware that it is within your power to do the right thing instead, suffices. Let us refer to this traditional assumption as the sufficiency thesis. The sufficiency thesis is plausible, but it is not beyond dispute. Reflection on certain situations in which a person can do the right thing (...)
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  15.  13
    Building Better Beings: A Theory of Moral Responsibility, Written by Manuel Vargas. [REVIEW]Justin A. Capes - 2016 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 13 (2):245-248.
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  16. Can 'Downward Causation' Save Free Will?Justin A. Capes - 2010 - Philosophia 38 (1):131-142.
    Recently, Trenton Merricks has defended a libertarian view of human freedom. He claims that human persons have downward causal control of their constituent parts, and that downward causal control of this sort is sufficient for free will. In this paper I examine Merricks’s defense of free will, and argue that it is unsuccessful. I show that having downward causal control is not sufficient for for free will. In an Appendix I also argue that Merricks’s defense of free will, together with (...)
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  17.  71
    What the Consequence Argument Is an Argument For.Justin A. Capes - 2019 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 8 (1):50-56.
    The consequence argument is among the most influential arguments for the conclusion that free will and determinism are incompatible. Recently, however, it has become increasingly clear that the argument fails to establish that particular incompatibilist conclusion. Even so, a version of the argument can be formulated that supports a different incompatibilist conclusion, according to which free will is incompatible with our behavior being predetermined by factors beyond our control. This conclusion, though not equivalent to the traditional incompatibilist thesis that determinism (...)
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  18.  16
    Alfred Mele, Aspects of Agency: Decisions, Abilities, Explanations, and Free Will.Justin A. Capes - 2020 - Journal of Moral Philosophy 17 (6):683-685.
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  19.  34
    Death, Betrayal, and a Guardian Angel.Justin A. Capes - 2017 - Philosophical Papers 46 (2):191-210.
    A familiar Epicurean argument for the conclusion that death is not bad for those who die goes like this. The dead cannot experience anything, including being dead and its effects. But something is bad for an individual only if that person can experience it or its effects. Therefore, death is not bad for those who die. In this article, I consider several alleged counterexamples to this argument's second premise, along with some responses to them. The responses are not entirely without (...)
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  20.  63
    James Stacey Taylor, Death, Posthumous Harm, and Bioethics: Routledge, New York, 2012, 228 Pp. $130 Hbk. [REVIEW]Justin A. Capes - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (1):181-182.
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  21. Does the Direct Argument Beg the Question?Justin Capes - 2022 - American Philosophical Quarterly 59 (1):81-96.
    The direct argument is among the most prominent arguments for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility. Some critics of the argument have accused it, or certain defenses of its central premise, of begging the question. This article responds to that accusation.
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  22. I Couldn't Help It! Essays on Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities.Justin A. Capes - 2011 - Dissertation,
    According to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP), a person is blameworthy for what he did only if he could have avoided doing it. This principle figures importantly in disputes about the relationship between determinism, divine foreknowledge, free will and moral responsibility, and has been the subject of considerable controversy for over forty years now. Proponents of the principle have devoted a good deal of energy and ingenuity to defending it against various objections. Surprisingly, however, they have devoted comparatively little (...)
     
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  23.  13
    K. Timpe and D. Speak : Free Will & Theism: Connections, Contingencies, and Concerns: Oxford University Press, New York, 2016, 316 Pp, $85.00. [REVIEW]Justin Capes - 2018 - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 84 (1):153-157.
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