David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Canadian Journal of Philosophy 41 (4):505-522 (2011)
In this paper, I examine a new line of response to Frankfurt’s challenge to the traditional association of moral responsibility with the ability to do otherwise. According to this response, Frankfurt’s counterexample strategy fails, not in light of the conditions for moral responsibility per se, but in view of the conditions for action. Specifically, it is claimed, a piece of behavior counts as an action only if it is within the agent’s power to avoid performing it. In so far as Frankfurt’s challenge presupposes that actions can be unavoidable, this view of action seems to bring his challenge up short. Helen Steward and Maria Alvarez have independently proposed versions of this response. Here I argue that this response is unavailable to Frankfurt’s incompatibilist opponents. This becomes evident when we put this question to its proponents: “Are actions that originate deterministically ipso facto unavoidable?” If they answer “yes,” they encounter one horn of a dilemma. If they answer “no,” they encounter the other horn. Since no one has a clearer stake in meeting Frankfurt’s challenge than these theorists do, it is significant that the Steward-Alvarez response is unavailable to them.
|Keywords||free will moral responsibility agency Principle of Alternative Possibilities Helen Steward Maria Alvarez Harry Frankfurt|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
Seth Shabo (2014). It Wasn't Up to Jones: Unavoidable Actions and Intensional Contexts in Frankfurt Examples. Philosophical Studies 169 (3):379-399.
Similar books and articles
Maria Alvarez (2009). Actions, Thought-Experiments and the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities'. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):61 – 81.
Galen Strawson (1986). On the Inevitability of Freedom (From the Compatibilist Point of View). American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):393-400.
Joshua Spencer (2013). What Time Travelers Cannot Not Do (but Are Responsible for Anyway). Philosophical Studies 166 (1):149-162.
Kevin Timpe (2009). Causal History Matters, but Not for Individuation. Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):77-91.
Vivienne Brown (2006). Choice, Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):265-288.
David Hunt & Seth Shabo (2013). Frankfurt Cases and the (in)Significance of Timing: A Defense of the Buffering Strategy. Philosophical Studies 164 (3):599-622.
P. S. Greenspan (1999). Impulse and Self-Reflection: Frankfurtian Responsibility Versus Free Will. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 3 (4):325-341.
John Martin Fischer (2010). The Frankfurt Cases: The Moral of the Stories. Philosophical Review 119 (3):315-336.
Michael McKenna (2008). Frankfurt's Argument Against Alternative Possibilities: Looking Beyond the Examples. Noûs 42 (4):770-793.
John Martin Fischer (2002). Frankfurt-Style Compatibilism. In Sarah Buss & Lee Overton (eds.), Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes From Harry Frankfurt. MIT Press, Bradford Books
David P. Hunt (2000). Moral Responsibility and Unavoidable Action. Philosophical Studies 97 (2):195-227.
Eleonore Stump (1999). Alternative Possibilities and Moral Responsibility: The Flicker of Freedom. [REVIEW] Journal of Ethics 3 (4):299-324.
Roger Clarke (2012). How to Manipulate an Incompatibilistically Free Agent. American Philosophical Quarterly 49 (2):139-49.
Robert Francis Allen (2004). Robust Alternatives and Responsibility. Journal of Moral Philosophy 1 (1):21-29.
Harry G. Frankfurt (1969). Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Journal of Philosophy 66 (3):829-39.
Added to index2011-07-14
Total downloads291 ( #7,247 of 1,796,162 )
Recent downloads (6 months)63 ( #9,952 of 1,796,162 )
How can I increase my downloads?