David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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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|
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References found in this work BETA
Harry G. Frankfurt (1969). Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):829-39.
David Widerker & Michael McKenna (eds.) (2003). Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities. Ashgate.
David Widerker (1995). Libertarianism and Frankfurt's Attack on the Principle of Alternative Possibilities. Philosophical Review 104 (2):247-61.
Robert H. Kane (1985). Free Will and Values. SUNY Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Justin Capes (2012). Action, Responsibility and the Ability to Do Otherwise. Philosophical Studies 158 (1):1-15.
David Palmer (2013). Capes on the W-Defense. Philosophia 41 (2):555-566.
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