David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (2):440-446 (2010)
Alfred Mele and David Robb (1998, 2003) offer what they claim is a counter-example to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), the principle that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In their example, a person makes a decision by his own indeterministic causal process though antecedent circumstances ensure he could not have done otherwise. Specifically, a simultaneously occurring process in him would deterministically cause the decision at the precise time it actually occurs if he were not to make it 'on his own' i.e. without being deterministically caused.Their case is designed to avoid a well-known dilemma that has plagued earlier apparent counterexamples of this sort. We argue, however, that Mele andRobb's example does not have all the features necessary in order for it to undermine PAP. It still fails to avoid the original dilemma
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