David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):687 - 706 (2011)
A crucial question for libertarians about free will and moral responsibility concerns how their accounts secure more control than compatibilism. This problem is particularly exasperating for event-causal libertarianism, as it seems that the only difference between these accounts and compatibilism is that the former require indeterminism. But how can indeterminism, a mere negative condition, enhance control? This worry has led many to conclude that the only viable form of libertarianism is agent-causal libertarianism. In this paper I show that this conclusion is premature. I explain how event-causal libertarianism secures more control than compatibilism by offering a novel argument for incompatibilism. Part of the reason my solution has gone unnoticed is that it is often mistakenly assumed that an agent's control is wholly exhausted by the agent's powers and abilities. I argue, however, that control is constituted not just by what we have the ability to do, but also by what we have the opportunity to do. And it is by furnishing agents with new opportunities that event-causal libertarianism secures enhanced control. In order to defend this claim, I provide an analysis of opportunities and construct a novel incompatibilist argument to show that the opportunity to do otherwise is incompatible with determinism.
|Keywords||free will moral responsibility ability opportunity incompatibilism|
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References found in this work BETA
John Martin Fischer & Mark Ravizza (1998). Responsibility and Control: A Theory of Moral Responsibility. Cambridge University Press.
Daniel C. Dennett (ed.) (1978). Brainstorms: Philosophical Essays on Mind and Psychology. Bradford Books.
Robert H. Kane (1996). The Significance of Free Will. Oxford University Press.
R. Jay Wallace (1996). Responsibility and the Moral Sentiments. Harvard University Press.
J. L. Austin (1979). Philosophical Papers. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
Christopher Evan Franklin (2015). Everyone Thinks That an Ability to Do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility. Philosophical Studies 172 (8):2091-2107.
Andrew Moon (2015). The New Evil Demon, a Frankfurt-Style Counterfactual Intervener, and a Subject’s Perspective Objection: Reply to McCain. Acta Analytica 30 (1):107-116.
Christopher Evan Franklin (forthcoming). Agent-Causation, Explanation, and Akrasia: A Reply to Levy's Hard Luck. [REVIEW] Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-18.
Robyn Repko Waller & Russell L. Waller (forthcoming). Forking Paths and Freedom: A Challenge to Libertarian Accounts of Free Will. Philosophia:1-14.
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