Defending the principle of alternate possibilities: Blameworthiness and moral responsibility

Noûs 31 (4):441-456 (1997)
According to the principle of alternate possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for an action only if he could have done otherwise. PAP underlies a familiar argument for the incompatibility of moral responsibility with determinism. I argue that Harry Frankfurt's famous argument against PAP is unsuccessful if PAP is interpreted as a principle about blameworthiness. My argument turns on the maxim that "ought implies can" as well as a "finely-nuanced" view of the object of blame. To reject PAP on the blameworthiness interpretation, we must reject either this maxim or the finely-nuanced view or some other apparently innocuous assumption
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DOI 10.1111/0029-4624.00055
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Peter B. M. Vranas (2007). I Ought, Therefore I Can. Philosophical Studies 136 (2):167-216.
Justin A. Capes (2012). Blameworthiness Without Wrongdoing. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 93 (3):417-437.
Bart Streumer (2007). Reasons and Impossibility. Philosophical Studies 136 (3):351-384.

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