Pure omissions, responsibility, and character
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Many defenders of libertarianism have, in recent years, come to endorse the idea that free agents are rarely able to choose otherwise than they do.1 These libertarians argue that it is often true that the beliefs and desires, or the character of a free agent are sufficient to render numerous possible choice-alternatives ineligible for the agent having them. In fact, they claim, it is frequently the case that beliefs, desires, character, etc. are sufficient to narrow the eligible alternatives to a single one (I will henceforth refer to such choices as “single-option choices”). In these cases, such agents, even though they are unable to choose otherwise, are still morally responsible as long as certain conditions are met. In particular, it must be the case that the factors that narrow the available alternatives result from prior free choices of the agent (I will henceforth refer to such factors as “limiting factors”). In other words, limiting factors must be traceable to prior free choices.
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