Manipulation and mitigation

Philosophical Studies 168 (1):283-294 (2014)
Authors
Andrew Khoury
Arizona State University
Abstract
Manipulation arguments are commonly deployed to raise problems for compatibilist theories of responsibility. These arguments proceed by asking us to reflect on an agent who has been manipulated to perform some (typically bad) action but who still meets the compatibilist conditions of responsibility. The incompatibilist argues that it is intuitive that the agent in such a case is not responsible even though she met the compatibilist conditions. Thus, it is argued, the compatibilist has not provided conditions sufficient for responsibility. Patrick Todd has recently argued that incompatibilists have taken on a heavier dialectical burden than is necessary. Todd argues that incompatibilists need not argue that an agent in a manipulation case is not at all responsible, but only that her responsibility is mitigated in order to refute compatibilism. Hannah Tierney has responded to Todd’s argument by arguing that a compatibilist can admit that manipulation mitigates responsibility without eliminating it. I argue that Tierney’s response is unsuccessful on its own terms. But, I argue, Todd’s argument can be resisted by way of a parallel counter-argument for compatibilism. I argue that Todd’s argument for incompatibilism is no more powerful than my argument for compatibilism. And since Todd’s manipulation argument is offered as an objection to compatibilism, this amounts to a victory for the compatibilist; the objection is defused
Keywords Free will  Manipulation  Moral responsibility  Compatibilism  Incompatibilism
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0125-7
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References found in this work BETA

A Hard-Line Reply to Pereboom's Four-Case Manipulation Argument.Michael Mckenna - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):142-159.

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Citations of this work BETA

Resisting Todd’s Moral-Standing Zygote Argument.Michael McKenna - 2018 - Philosophical Quarterly 68 (273):657-678.

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