Philosophical Studies 169 (3):429-446 (2014)

Authors
Michael Robinson
Chapman University
Abstract
Philosophers employing Frankfurt-style cases to challenge the principle of alternative possibilities have mostly sought to construct scenarios that eliminate as many of an agent’s alternatives as possible—and all alternatives at the moment of action, within the agent’s control—without causally determining the agent’s actions. One of the chief difficulties for this traditional approach is that the closer one gets to ruling out absolutely all alternative possibilities the more it appears that agents’ actions in these cases are causally determined. “Limited-blockage” versions of these cases are meant to sidestep this worry by blocking all and only those alternatives that are intrinsically relevant to moral responsibility (“robust alternatives”) while leaving open all other alternatives, including a significant range of alternatives that are within the agent’s voluntary control at the moment of action. I argue that, owing to the fact that omissions (and not just actions) are capable of constituting robust alternative possibilities, limited-blockage cases cannot avoid collapsing into the more traditional sort of Frankfurt-style case to which they are meant to be an alternative and so are vulnerable to the very same concerns they are meant to avoid
Keywords PAP  Frankfurt cases  Moral responsibility  McKenna  Robust  Alternative possibilities  Omissions
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-013-0190-y
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References found in this work BETA

Intention, Plans, and Practical Reason.Michael Bratman - 1987 - Cambridge: Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Cambridge University Press.
Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - Oxford University Press.

View all 47 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Free Will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Luckily, We Are Only Responsible for What We Could Have Avoided.Philip Swenson - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):106-118.
Robust Flickers of Freedom.Michael Robinson - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):211-233.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Asymmetry.Daniel Coren - 2018 - Acta Analytica 33 (2):145-159.

View all 8 citations / Add more citations

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