The w-defense

Philosophical Studies 150 (1):61-77 (2010)
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 has done. Therefore, such examples do not undermine a version of PAP restricted to blameworthiness. Widerker refers to his argument for this claim as the W-defense. I examine the W-defense in some detail, along with three recent replies to it by defenders of Frankfurt’s argument. I contend that each of these replies is problematic and, indeed, that two of them play directly into the hands of those seeking to defend PAP. I then develop my own reply to the W-defense by calling into question an assumption which is at the heart of that argument regarding the nature of moral blame.
Keywords Frankfurt  Alternative possibilities  W-defense  Moral responsibility  Blame  David Widerker
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.2307/40783325
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 15,865
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 19 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

85 ( #33,872 of 1,724,892 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

13 ( #53,058 of 1,724,892 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.