Graduate studies at Western
Journal of Ethics 12 (2):167 - 189 (2008)
|Abstract||I seek to reply to the thoughtful and challenging papers by Helen Steward, Saul Smilansky, and John Perry. Steward argues that agency itself requires access to alternative possibilities; I attempt to motivate my denial of this view. I believe that her view here is no more plausible than the view (which she rejects) that it is unfair to hold someone morally responsible, unless he has genuine access to alternative possibilities. Smilansky contends that compatibilism is morally shallow, and that we can see this from the "ultimate perspective." In reply, I explore the nature of "zooming" arguments, and I contend that even from a somewhat more detached perspective, important features that distinguish us from mere animals can be discerned (even in a causally deterministic universe). Finally, I seek to address Perry's defense of classical compatibilism. My main objection to his form of compatbilism is that agents must be construed as having a certain kind of "baggage"— even on his own account|
|Keywords||Agency Alternative possibilities Baggage Fatalism Fundamentalism General abilities Molinism Moral responsibility Moral shallowness Ockhamism John Perry Semicompatibilism Saul Smilansky Helen Steward Ultimate perspective Zooming in and out|
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