The impertinence of Frankfurt-style argument

Philosophical Quarterly 57 (226):76-95 (2007)
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Abstract

Discussions of the principle of alternative possibilities have largely ignored the limits of what Frankfurt-style counter-examples can show. Rather than challenging the coherence of the cases, I argue that even if they are taken to demonstrate the falsity of the principle, they cannot advance the compatibilist cause. For a forceful incompatibilist argument can be constructed from the Frankfurtian premise that agents in Frankfurtian circumstances would have done what they did even if they could have done something else. This 'counterfactual stability' meets the same fate under determinism as does the ability to do otherwise. Thus the cases are irrelevant to the compatibility debate

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Daniel Speak
Loyola Marymount University

Citations of this work

Free will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
A defense of Frankfurt-friendly libertarianism.David Widerker - 2009 - Philosophical Explorations 12 (2):87 – 108.
Disenabling Levy's Frankfurt-style enabling cases.Ishtiyaque Haji & Michael Mckenna - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (3):400-414.
The importance of Frankfurt-style argument.John Martin Fischer - 2007 - Philosophical Quarterly 57 (228):464–471.

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