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Profile: Christopher Evan Franklin (Marymount University)
  1. Christopher Evan Franklin (2013). Agent-Causation, Explanation, and Akrasia: A Reply to Levy's Hard Luck. [REVIEW] Criminal Law and Philosophy:1-18.
    I offer a brief review of, and critical response to, Neil Levy’s fascinating recent book Hard Luck, where he argues that no one is ever free or morally responsible not because of determinism or indeterminism, but because of luck. Two of Levy’s central arguments in defending his free will nihilism concern the nature and role of explanation in a theory of moral responsibility and the nature of akrasia. With respect to explanation, Levy argues that an adequate theory of moral responsibility (...)
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  2. Christopher Evan Franklin (2013). A Theory of the Normative Force of Pleas. Philosophical Studies 163 (2):479-502.
    A familiar feature of our moral responsibility practices are pleas: considerations, such as “That was an accident”, or “I didn’t know what else to do”, that attempt to get agents accused of wrongdoing off the hook. But why do these pleas have the normative force they do in fact have? Why does physical constraint excuse one from responsibility, while forgetfulness or laziness does not? I begin by laying out R. Jay Wallace’s (Responsibility and the moral sentiments, 1994 ) theory of (...)
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  3. Christopher Evan Franklin (2013). Event-Causal Libertarianism, Functional Reduction, and the Disappearing Agent Argument. Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Event-causal libertarians maintain that an agent’s freely bringing about a choice is reducible to states and events involving him bringing about the choice. Agent-causal libertarians demur, arguing that free will requires that the agent be irreducibly causally involved. Derk Pereboom and Meghan Griffith have defended agent-causal libertarianism on this score, arguing that since on event-causal libertarianism an agent’s contribution to his choice is exhausted by the causal role of states and events involving him, and since these states and events leave (...)
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  4. Christopher Evan Franklin (2013). Haji , Ishtiyaque . Reason's Debt to Freedom: Normative Appraisals, Reasons, and Free Will . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. Pp. 270. $65.00 (Cloth). [REVIEW] Ethics 123 (3):563-567.
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  5. Christopher Evan Franklin (2013). Valuing Blame. In D. Justin Coates & Neal A. Tognazzini (eds.), Blame: Its Nature and Norms. Oxford University Press.
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  6. Christopher Evan Franklin (2012). How Should Libertarians Conceive of the Location and Role of Indeterminism? Philosophical Explorations 16 (1):44 - 58.
    Libertarianism has, seemingly, always been in disrepute among philosophers. While throughout history philosophers have offered different reasons for their dissatisfaction with libertarianism, one worry is recurring: namely a worry about luck. To many, it seems that if our choices and actions are undetermined, then we cannot control them in a way that allows for freedom and responsibility. My fundamental aim in this paper is to place libertarians on a more promising track for formulating a defensible libertarian theory. I begin by (...)
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  7. Christopher Evan Franklin (2012). Masks, Abilities, and Opportunities. Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):89-103.
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  8. Christopher Evan Franklin (2012). The Assimilation Argument and the Rollback Argument. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):395-416.
    Seth Shabo has presented a new argument that attempts to codify familiar worries about indeterminism, luck, and control. His ‘Assimilation Argument’ contends that libertarians cannot distinguish overtly randomized outcomes from exercises of free will. Shabo claims that the argument possesses advantages over the Mind Argument and Rollback Argument, which also purport to establish that indeterminism is incompatible with free will. I argue first that the Assimilation Argument presents no new challenges over and above those presented by the Rollback Argument, and (...)
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  9. Christopher Evan Franklin (2011). Farewell to the Luck (and Mind) Argument. Philosophical Studies 156 (2):199-230.
    In this paper I seek to defend libertarianism about free will and moral responsibility against two well-known arguments: the luck argument and the Mind argument. Both of these arguments purport to show that indeterminism is incompatible with the degree of control necessary for free will and moral responsibility. I begin the discussion by elaborating these arguments, clarifying important features of my preferred version of libertarianism—features that will be central to an adequate response to the arguments—and showing why a strategy of (...)
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  10. Christopher Evan Franklin (2011). Maskes, Abilities, and Opportunities: Why the New Dispositionalism Cannot Succeed. Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):89-103.
    Conditional analyses of ability have been nearly entirely abandoned by philosophers of action as woefully inadequate attempts of analyzing the concept of ability. Recently, however, Vihvelin (2004) and Fara (2008) have appealed to the similarity between dispositions and abilities, as well as recent advances in the metaphysics of dispositions, in order to construct putatively superior conditional analyses of ability. Vihvelin and Fara claim that their revised conditional analyses of ability enable them to show that Frankfurt-style cases fail to sever the (...)
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  11. Christopher Evan Franklin (2011). Neo-Frankfurtians and Buffer Cases: The New Challenge to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities. [REVIEW] Philosophical Studies 152 (2):189–207.
    The debate over whether Frankfurt-style cases are counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP) has taken an interesting turn in recent years. Frankfurt originally envisaged his attack as an attempting to show that PAP is false—that the ability to do otherwise is not necessary for moral responsibility. To many this attack has failed. But Frankfurtians have not conceded defeat. Neo-Frankfurtians, as I will call them, argue that the upshot of Frankfurt-style cases is not that PAP is false, but that (...)
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  12. Christopher Evan Franklin (2011). The Problem of Enhanced Control. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 89 (4):687 - 706.
    A crucial question for libertarians about free will and moral responsibility concerns how their accounts secure more control than compatibilism. This problem is particularly exasperating for event-causal libertarianism, as it seems that the only difference between these accounts and compatibilism is that the former require indeterminism. But how can indeterminism, a mere negative condition, enhance control? This worry has led many to conclude that the only viable form of libertarianism is agent-causal libertarianism. In this paper I show that this conclusion (...)
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  13. Christopher Evan Franklin (2006). Plausibility, Manipulation, and Fischer and Ravizza. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (2):173-192.
    The manipulation argument poses a significant challenge for any adequate compatibilist theory of agency. The argument maintains that there is no relevant difference between actions or pro-attitudes that are induced by nefarious neurosurgeons, God, or (and this is the important point) natural causes. Therefore, if manipulation is thought to undermine moral responsibility, then so also ought causal determinism. In this paper, I will attempt to bolster the plausibility of John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza’s semicompatibilist theory of moral responsibility by (...)
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