Frankfurt and the folk: An experimental investigation of Frankfurt-style cases

Consciousness and Cognition 20 (2):401-414 (2011)

Authors
Adam Feltz
Michigan Technological University
Joshua Miller
Franciscan University of Steubenville
Abstract
An important disagreement in contemporary debates about free will hinges on whether an agent must have alternative possibilities to be morally responsible. Many assume that notions of alternative possibilities are ubiquitous and reflected in everyday intuitions about moral responsibility: if one lacks alternatives, then one cannot be morally responsible. We explore this issue empirically. In two studies, we find evidence that folk judgments about moral responsibility call into question two popular principles that require some form of alternative possibilities for moral responsibility. Survey participants given scenarios involving agents that fail to satisfy these principles nonetheless found these agents to be morally responsible, blameworthy, deserving of blame, and at fault for morally bad actions and consequences. We defend our interpretation of this evidence against objections and explore some implications of these findings for the free will debate
Keywords Experimental philosophy  Moral responsibility  Alternative possibilities  Frankfurt-style cases
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1016/j.concog.2010.10.015
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: 46,223
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

Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.

View all 50 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

The Philosophical Personality Argument.Adam Feltz & Edward T. Cokely - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 161 (2):227-246.
Moral Responsibility and Free Will: A Meta-Analysis.Adam Feltz & Florian Cova - 2014 - Consciousness and Cognition 30:234-246.

View all 14 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Principle of Avoidable Blame.Gerald K. Harrison - 2004 - Ethic@ - An International Journal for Moral Philosophy 3 (1):37-46.
The Importance of Frankfurt-Style Argument.John Martin Fischer - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):464–471.
Finking Frankfurt.Daniel Cohen & Toby Handfield - 2007 - Philosophical Studies 135 (3):363--74.
Frankfurt Cases and Overdetermination.Eric Funkhouser - 2009 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (3):pp. 341-369.
Actions, Thought-Experiments and the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities'.Maria Alvarez - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):61 – 81.
A Critique of Frankfurt-Libertarianism.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):189-202.
Frankfurt-Style Compatibilism.John Martin Fischer - 2002 - In Sarah Buss & Lee Overton (eds.), Contours of Agency: Essays on Themes From Harry Frankfurt. Cambridge Ma: MIT Press, Bradford Books.
Responsibility, Mechanisms, and Capacities.Randolph Clarke - 2011 - Modern Schoolman 88 (1/2):161-169.

Analytics

Added to PP index
2012-08-31

Total views
41 ( #218,571 of 2,285,767 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
5 ( #250,848 of 2,285,767 )

How can I increase my downloads?

Downloads

My notes

Sign in to use this feature