Why the Direct Argument Does Not Shift the Burden of Proof

Journal of Philosophy 113 (4):210-223 (2016)
Authors
Yael Loewenstein
University of Houston
Abstract
Peter van Inwagen's influential Direct Argument (DA) for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and causal determinism makes use of an inference rule he calls "Rule B." Michael McKenna has argued that van Inwagen's defense of this rule is dialectically inappropriate because it is based entirely on alleged “confirming” cases that are not of the right kind to justify the use of Rule B in DA. Here I argue that McKenna’s objection is on the right track but more must be said if we are to see why. To fill in the gaps I consider a recent attempt by Ira M. Schnall and David Widerker to defend DA against McKenna’s objection. I argue that neither prong of their attack is successful against a variation on McKenna’s basic argument. In the course of responding to Schnall and Widerker’s objections to McKenna, I identify what is, as I argue, the real reason DA fails in its purpose to shift the burden of proof.
Keywords Direct Argument  Peter van Inwagen  Rule B  Moral responsibility  Causal determinism
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/jphil2016113412
Options
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 35,496
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Saying Good-Bye to the Direct Argument the Right Way.Michael McKenna - 2008 - Philosophical Review 117 (3):349-383.
Shabo on Logical Versions of the Direct Argument.P. Roger Turner - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (8):2125-2132.
Self-Stultification Objection.F. De Brigard - 2014 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 21 (5-6):120-130.
Kearns on Rule A.P. Roger Turner - 2015 - Philosophia 43 (1):205-215.
Koons' Cosmological Argument.Graham Oppy - 1999 - Faith and Philosophy 16 (3):378-389.
A Counterexample to A.Charles Hermes - 2014 - Philosophia 42 (2):387-389.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2016-12-02

Total downloads
93 ( #68,663 of 2,287,556 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
6 ( #79,814 of 2,287,556 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Monthly downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature