My way and life's highway: Replies to Steward, Smilansky, and Perry [Book Review]

Journal of Ethics 12 (2):167 - 189 (2008)
I seek to reply to the thoughtful and challenging papers by Helen Steward, Saul Smilansky, and John Perry. Steward argues that agency itself requires access to alternative possibilities; I attempt to motivate my denial of this view. I believe that her view here is no more plausible than the view that it is unfair to hold someone morally responsible, unless he has genuine access to alternative possibilities. Smilansky contends that compatibilism is morally shallow, and that we can see this from the "ultimate perspective." In reply, I explore the nature of "zooming" arguments, and I contend that even from a somewhat more detached perspective, important features that distinguish us from mere animals can be discerned. Finally, I seek to address Perry's defense of classical compatibilism. My main objection to his form of compatbilism is that agents must be construed as having a certain kind of "baggage"— even on his own account.
Keywords Agency  Alternative possibilities  Baggage  Fatalism  Fundamentalism  General abilities  Molinism  Moral responsibility  Moral shallowness  Ockhamism  John Perry  Semicompatibilism  Saul Smilansky  Helen Steward  Ultimate perspective  Zooming in and out
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-008-9029-8
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 26,205
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
The Absurd.Thomas Nagel - 1971 - Journal of Philosophy 68 (20):716-727.
The Meaning of Life.Richard Taylor - 2009 - In Steven M. Cahn (ed.), Philosophy Now. Oxford University Press. pp. 13-14.

View all 11 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Semicompatibilism and Its Rivals.John Martin Fischer - 2012 - Journal of Ethics 16 (2):117-143.
Action, Responsibility and the Ability to Do Otherwise.Justin Capes - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (1):1-15.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

54 ( #94,601 of 2,154,092 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #398,005 of 2,154,092 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums