Hard- and soft-line responses to Pereboom's four-case manipulation argument

Acta Analytica 21 (4):19 - 35 (2006)
Abstract
Derk Pereboom has advanced a four-case manipulation argument that, he claims, undermines both libertarian accounts of free action not committed to agent-causation and compatibilist accounts of such action. The first two cases are meant to be ones in which the key agent is not responsible for his actions owing to his being manipulated. We first consider a “hard-line” response to this argument that denies that the agent is not morally responsible in these cases. We argue that this response invites a dialectically uncharitable reading of the argument. We then propose an alternative interpretation; it affirms that, at least prima facie, the manipulated agent in the first two cases is not responsible. Finally, we question Pereboom’s rationale for why the manipulation in these cases subverts responsibility.
Keywords free will  moral responsibility  compatibilism  incompatibilism  manipulation  Pereboom’s four-case argument  ultimate origination
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