The Soft-Line Solution to Pereboom's Four-Case Argument

Australasian Journal of Philosophy 88 (4):595-617 (2010)
Derk Pereboom's Four-Case Argument is among the most famous and resilient manipulation arguments against compatibilism. I contend that its resilience is not a function of the argument's soundness but, rather, the ill-gotten gain from an ambiguity in the description of the causal relations found in the argument's foundational case. I expose this crucial ambiguity and suggest that a dilemma faces anyone hoping to resolve it. After a thorough search for an interpretation which avoids both horns of this dilemma, I conclude that none is available. Rather, every metaphysically coherent interpretation invites either a hard- or soft-line reply to Pereboom's argument. I then consider a recharacterization of the dilemma which seems to clear the way for the defence of a revised Four-Case Argument. I address this rejoinder by identifying a still more fundamental problem shared by all viable interpretations of the manipulation cases, showing that each involves a type of manipulation which undermines the victim's agency. Because this diagnosis supports a soft-line reply to every viable interpretation of the argument and can be endorsed by any compatibilist, I consider it the final piece of the Soft-line Solution to the Four-Case Argument. Finally, I suggest a new taxonomy of manipulation arguments, arguing that none that employs the suppressive variety of manipulation found in Pereboom's argument offers a threat to compatibilism
Keywords Manipulation Argument  Four-Case Argument  Soft-Line Reply  Hard-Line Reply  Free Will  Moral Responsibility  Compatibilism
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DOI 10.1080/00048400903382691
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References found in this work BETA
Physicalism, or Something Near Enough.Jaegwon Kim - 2005 - Princeton University Press.
A Hard-Line Reply to Pereboom's Four-Case Manipulation Argument.Michael Mckenna - 2008 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 77 (1):142-159.
Responsibility and Manipulation.John Martin Fischer - 2004 - Journal of Ethics 8 (2):145-177.
Responsibility and Globally Manipulated Agents.Michael McKenna - 2004 - Philosophical Topics 32 (1/2):169-192.

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Citations of this work BETA
The Zygote Argument is Invalid: Now What?Kristin Mickelson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (11):2911-2929.

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