Graduate studies at Western
Philosophical Studies 157 (2):177-194 (2012)
|Abstract||A great deal of attention has been paid recently to the claim that traditional Frankfurt-type counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), which depend for their success on the presence of a perfectly reliable indicator (or prior sign ) of what an agent will freely do if left to act on his own, are guilty of begging the question against incompatibilists, since such indicators seem to presuppose a deterministic relation between an agent’s free action and its causal antecedents. Objections of this sort have given rise to considerable efforts to construct alternative Frankfurt-type counterexamples that do not rely on prior signs of this kind and so do not presuppose determinism in a way that incompatibilists should find objectionable. One consequence of this shift in the way Frankfurt-type counterexamples are formulated is that it provides an opportunity for the forceful resurgence of certain versions of the so-called flicker defense of PAP. In this paper I develop two versions of the flicker defense, indicate their advantages over other versions of this strategy, and defend them against objections. Insofar as either of these is successful, it will show not only that PAP has yet to be falsified by any of the modified Frankfurt-type counterexamples currently on offer but that cases of this sort are in principle incapable of falsifying PAP|
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