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Unable to Do the Impossible

Mind 129 (514):585-602 (2020)

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  1. Killing Time Again.Kadri Vihvelin - 2020 - The Monist 103 (3):312-327.
    I have argued that even if time travel is metaphysically possible, there are some things a time traveler would not be able to do. I reply here to critics who have argued that my account entails fatalism about the past or entails that the time traveler is unfree or that she is bound by “strange shackles.” My argument does not entail any sort of fatalism. The time traveler is able to do many of the things that everyone else can do (...)
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  • The ability to do otherwise and the new dispositionalism.Romy Jaster - 2022 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 65 (9):1149-1166.
    According to the New Dispositionalist’s response to the Frankfurt Cases, Jones can do otherwise because Black merely masks (or finks), but does not deprive Jones of the relevant ability. This reasoning stands in the tradition of a line of thought according to which an informed view of the truth conditions of ability attributions allows for a compatibilist stance. The promise is that once we understand how abilities work, it turns out that the ability to do otherwise is compatible with determinism, (...)
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  • The Poss-Ability Principle, G-cases, and Fitch Propositions.Noah Gordon - 2021 - Logos and Episteme 12 (1):117-125.
    There is a very plausible principle linking abilities and possibilities: If S is able to Φ, then it is metaphysically possible that S Φ’s. Jack Spencer recently proposed a class of counterexamples to this principle involving the ability to know certain propositions. I renew an argument against these counterexamples based on the unknowability of Fitch propositions. In doing so, I provide a new argument for the unknowability of Fitch propositions and show that Spencer’s counterexamples are in tension with a principle (...)
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  • No Choice for Incompatibilism.Julio De Rizzo - 2022 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):6-13.
    P. van Inwagen famously offered three precise versions of the so-called Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. The third of these essentially employs the notion of an agent’s having a choice with respect to a proposition. In this paper, I offer two intuitively attractive accounts of this notion in terms of the explanatory connective ‘because’ and explore the prospects of the third argument once they are in play. Under either account, the argument fails.
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  • Sceptical Deliberations.Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette - 2020 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 101 (3):383-408.
    Suppose I am a leeway sceptic: I think that, whenever I face a choice between two courses of action, I lack true alternatives. Can my practical deliberation be rational? Call this the Deliberation Question. This paper has three aims in tackling it. Its constructive aim is to provide a unified account of practical deliberation. Its corrective aim is to amend the way that philosophers have recently framed the Deliberation Question. Finally, its disputative aim is to argue that leeway sceptics cannot (...)
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