Aborting the zygote argument

Philosophical Studies 160 (3):379-389 (2012)
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Abstract

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 zygote argument is no threat to compatibilism.

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Stephen Kearns
Florida State University

Citations of this work

Free will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Defending (a modified version of) the Zygote Argument.Patrick Todd - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (1):189-203.
The Zygote Argument is invalid: Now what?Kristin Mickelson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2911-2929.
Manipulation, Moral Responsibility, and Bullet Biting.Alfred R. Mele - 2013 - The Journal of Ethics 17 (3):167-184.

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References found in this work

Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Autonomous Agents: From Self Control to Autonomy.Alfred R. Mele - 1995 - New York, US: Oxford University Press.
Living without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):308-310.
Living without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):494-497.

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