Farewell to direct source incompatibilism

Acta Analytica 21 (4):36 - 49 (2006)
Abstract
Traditional theorists about free will and moral responsibility endorse the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP): an agent is morally responsible for an action that she performs only if she can do or could have done otherwise. According to source theorists, PAP is false and an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she is the source of that action. Source incompatibilists accept the source theory but also endorse INC: if determinism is true, then no one is morally responsible for any action. This paper is a critique of a kind of source incompatibilism, namely, direct source incompatibilism. Direct source incompatibilists reject PAP on the basis of Frankfurt-style examples. Since PAP is one of two premises in the traditional argument for INC, direct source incompatibilists opt for a version of the direct argument, which argues for INC with the aid of some non-responsibility transfer principle. I demonstrate that this option is not available, for there is a tension between the following two claims.
Keywords free will  moral responsibility  incompatibilism  source theory  Frankfurtstyle examples  alternative possibilities  direct argument
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