Philosophical Studies 166 (1):149-162 (2013)

Authors
Joshua Spencer
University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
Abstract
The Principle of Alternative Possibilities is the intuitive idea that someone is morally responsible for an action only if she could have done otherwise. Harry Frankfurt has famously presented putative counterexamples to this intuitive principle. In this paper, I formulate a simple version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a course-grained notion of actions. After warming up with a Frankfurt-Style Counterexample to this principle, I introduce a new kind of counterexample based on the possibility of time travel. At the end of the paper, I formulate a more sophisticated version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities that invokes a certain fine grained notion of actions. I then explain how this new kind of counterexample can be augmented to show that even the more sophisticated principle is false
Keywords Time travel  Principle of Alternative Possibilities  Frankfurt
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DOI 10.1007/s11098-012-0029-y
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References found in this work BETA

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - Oxford University Press.
The Paradoxes of Time Travel.David K. Lewis - 1976 - American Philosophical Quarterly 13 (2):145-152.
An Essay on Free Will.Michael Slote - 1985 - Journal of Philosophy 82 (6):327-330.
Actions, Thought-Experiments and the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities'.Maria Alvarez - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):61 – 81.

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Paradoxes of Time Travel.Ryan Wasserman - 2017 - Oxford University Press.
Implicit Attitudes and the Ability Argument.Wesley Buckwalter - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (11):2961-2990.
Time Travelers Are Not Free.Michael C. Rea - 2015 - Journal of Philosophy 112 (5):266-279.

View all 9 citations / Add more citations

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Choice, Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities.Vivienne Brown - 2006 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 9 (3):265-288.

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