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Alfred R. Mele (2008). Manipulation, Compatibilism, and Moral Responsibility.

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  1. Historical Moral Responsibility: Is The Infinite Regress Problem Fatal?Eric Christian Barnes - forthcoming - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly.
    Some compatibilists have responded to the manipulation argument for incompatibilism by proposing an historical theory of moral responsibility which, according to one version, requires that agents be morally responsible for having their pro-attitudes if they are to be morally responsible for acting on them. This proposal, however, leads obviously to an infinite regress problem. I consider a proposal by Haji and Cuypers that addresses this problem and argue that it is unsatisfactory. I then go on to propose a new solution (...)
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    Character Control and Historical Moral Responsibility.Eric Christian Barnes - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (9):2311-2331.
    Some proponents of compatibilist moral responsibility have proposed an historical theory which requires that agents deploy character control in order to be morally responsible. An important type of argument for the character control condition is the manipulation argument, such as Mele’s example of Beth and Chuck. In this paper I show that Beth can be exonerated on various conditions other than her failure to execute character control—I propose a new character, Patty, who meets these conditions and is, I argue, morally (...)
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  3. Freedom, Creativity, and Manipulation.Eric Christian Barnes - 2015 - Noûs 49 (3):560-588.
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  4. The Zygote Argument is Invalid: Now What?Kristin Mickelson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2911-2929.
    Alfred Mele’s original Zygote Argument is invalid. At most, its premises entail the negative thesis that free action is incompossible with deterministic laws, but its conclusion asserts the positive thesis that deterministic laws preclude free action. The original, explanatory conclusion of the Zygote Argument can be defended only by supplementing the Zygote Argument with a best-explanation argument that identifies deterministic laws as menacing. Arguably, though, the best explanation for the manipulation victim’s lack of freedom and responsibility is his constitutive luck, (...)
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  5. Manipulation and the Zygote Argument: Another Reply.Markus E. Schlosser - 2015 - The Journal of Ethics 19 (1):73-84.
    Alfred Mele’s zygote argument is widely considered to be the strongest version of the manipulation argument against compatibilism (about free will and determinism). Opponents have focused largely on the first of its two premises and on the overall dialectic. My focus here will be on the underlying thought experiment—the Diana scenario—and on the second premise of the argument. I will argue that reflection on the Diana scenario shows that the second premise does not hold, and we will see that my (...)
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  6.  72
    Mitigating Soft Compatibilism.Justin A. CApes - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):640-663.
    According to what I will call mitigating soft compatibilism, although the truth of determinism is consistent with free action and moral responsibility, determinism nevertheless mitigates praiseworthiness and blameworthiness. In this paper, I take a closer look at this novel brand of compatibilism. My principal aim in doing so is to further explicate the view and to explore ways in which it can be deployed in defense of the more general compatibilist thesis. I also discuss one of the most pressing challenges (...)
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  7. Taking the Self Out of Self-Rule.Michael Garnett - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (1):21-33.
    Many philosophers believe that agents are self-ruled only when ruled by their (authentic) selves. Though this view is rarely argued for explicitly, one tempting line of thought suggests that self-rule is just obviously equivalent to rule by the self . However, the plausibility of this thought evaporates upon close examination of the logic of ‘self-rule’ and similar reflexives. Moreover, attempts to rescue the account by recasting it in negative terms are unpromising. In light of these problems, this paper instead proposes (...)
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    In Defense of Hard-Line Replies to the Multiple-Case Manipulation Argument.Daniel Haas - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 163 (3):797-811.
    I defend a hard-line reply to Derk Pereboom’s four-case manipulation argument. Pereboom accuses compatibilists who take a hard-line reply to his manipulation argument of adopting inappropriate initial attitudes towards the cases central to his argument. If Pereboom is correct he has shown that a hard-line response is inadequate. Fortunately for the compatibilist, Pereboom’s list of appropriate initial attitudes is incomplete and at least one of the initial attitudes he leaves out provides room for a revised hard-line reply to be successfully (...)
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    Merit, Fit, and Basic Desert.Daniel Haas - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):226-239.
    Basic desert is central to the dispute between compatibilists and incompatibilists over the four-case manipulation argument. I argue that there are two distinct ways of understanding the desert salient to moral responsibility; moral desert can be understood as a claim about fitting responses to an agent or as a claim about the merit of the agent. Failing to recognize this distinction has contributed to a stalemate between both sides. I suggest that recognizing these distinct approaches to moral desert will help (...)
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    Moral Responsibility and the Continuation Problem.Alfred Mele - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 162 (2):237-255.
    Typical incompatibilists about moral responsibility and determinism contend that being basically morally responsible for a decision one makes requires that, if that decision has proximal causes, it is not deterministically caused by them. This article develops a problem for this contention that resembles what is sometimes called the problem of present (or cross-world) luck. However, the problem makes no reference to luck nor to contrastive explanation. This article also develops a solution.
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  11.  78
    Manipulation, Moral Responsibility, and Bullet Biting.Alfred R. Mele - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):167-184.
    This article’s guiding question is about bullet biting: When should compatibilists about moral responsibility bite the bullet in responding to stories used in arguments for incompatibilism about moral responsibility? Featured stories are vignettes in which agents’ systems of values are radically reversed by means of brainwashing and the story behind the zygote argument. The malady known as “intuition deficit disorder” is also discussed.
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    Moral Responsibility, Manipulation, and Minutelings.Alfred R. Mele - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):153-166.
    This article explores the significance of agents’ histories for directly free actions and actions for which agents are directly morally responsible. Candidates for relevant compatibilist historical constraints discussed by Michael McKenna and Alfred Mele are assessed, as is the bearing of manipulation on free action and moral responsibility.
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    Choosing Freedom: Basic Desert and the Standpoint of Blame.Evan Tiffany - 2013 - Philosophical Explorations 16 (2):1-17.
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  14. Defending (a Modified Version of) the Zygote Argument.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):189-203.
    Think of the last thing someone did to you to seriously harm or offend you. And now imagine, so far as you can, becoming fully aware of the fact that his or her action was the causally inevitable result of a plan set into motion before he or she was ever even born, a plan that had no chance of failing. Should you continue to regard him or her as being morally responsible—blameworthy, in this case—for what he or she did? (...)
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  15. Aborting the Zygote Argument.Stephen Kearns - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 160 (3):379-389.
    Alfred Mele’s zygote argument for incompatibilism is based on a case involving an agent in a deterministic world whose entire life is planned by someone else. Mele’s contention is that Ernie (the agent) is unfree and that normal determined agents are relevantly similar to him with regards to free will. In this paper, I examine four different ways of understanding this argument and then criticize each interpretation. I then extend my criticism to manipulation arguments in general. I conclude that the (...)
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    Defending Nonhistorical Compatibilism: A Reply to Haji and Cuypers1.Michael McKenna - 2012 - Philosophical Issues 22 (1):264-280.
  17. Moral Responsibility, Manipulation Arguments, and History: Assessing the Resilience of Nonhistorical Compatibilism. [REVIEW]Michael McKenna - 2012 - The Journal of Ethics 16 (2):145-174.
    Manipulation arguments for incompatibilism all build upon some example or other in which an agent is covertly manipulated into acquiring a psychic structure on the basis of which she performs an action. The featured agent, it is alleged, is manipulated into satisfying conditions compatibilists would take to be sufficient for acting freely. Such an example used in the context of an argument for incompatibilism is meant to elicit the intuition that, due to the pervasiveness of the manipulation, the agent does (...)
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    Why Bariatric Surgery Should Be Given High Priority: An Argument From Law and Morality. [REVIEW]Karl Persson - 2012 - Health Care Analysis (4):1-20.
    In recent years, bariatric surgery has become an increasingly popular treatment of obesity. The amount of resources spent on this kind of surgery has led to a heated debate among health care professionals and the general public, as each procedure costs at minimum $14,500 and thousands of patients undergo surgery every year. So far, no substantial argument for or against giving this treatment a high priority has, however, been presented. In this article, I argue that regardless which moral perspective we (...)
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  19. Moral Responsibility and History Revisited.Alfred R. Mele - 2009 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 12 (5):463 - 475.
    Compatibilists about determinism and moral responsibility disagree with one another about the bearing of agents’ histories on whether or not they are morally responsible for some of their actions. Some stories about manipulated agents prompt such disagreements. In this article, I call attention to some of the main features of my own “history-sensitive” compatibilist proposal about moral responsibility, and I argue that arguments advanced by Michael McKenna and Manuel Vargas leave that proposal unscathed.
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  20. New Essays on the Metaphysics of Moral Responsibility.Joseph Keim Campbell - 2008 - The Journal of Ethics 12 (3-4):193 - 201.
    This is the introduction to a volume of new essays in the metaphysics of moral responsibility by John Martin Fischer, Carl Ginet, Ishtiyaque Haji, Alfred R. Mele, Derk Pereboom, Paul Russell, and Peter van Inwagen. I provide some background for the essays, cover the main debates in the metaphysics of moral responsibility, and emphasize some of the authors' contributions to this area of philosophy.
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