The Journal of Ethics 26 (1):27-40 (2022)

Bradford Stockdale
University of West Florida
Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) have famously served as counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP). The fine-grained version of the flicker defense has become one of the most popular responses to FSCs. Proponents of this defense argue that there is an alternative available to all agents in FSCs such that the cases do not show that PAP is false. Specifically, the agents could have done otherwise than decide on their own, and this available alternative is robust enough to ground moral responsibility. In this paper, I argue that, when relying on definitions of ‘on one’s own’ within the literature on FSCs, a case can be constructed in which the agent could not have done otherwise than make a decision on his own. Insofar as this new case is successful, it will be able to avoid arguments about robustness while showing that moral responsibility does not require alternative possibilities of the type argued for by proponents of the fine-grained version of the flicker defense.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10892-020-09353-z
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Translate to english
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 70,192
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 Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829.
The Significance of Free Will.Robert Kane - 1996 - Oxford University Press USA.
Free Will and Luck.Alfred R. Mele - 2006 - Oxford University Press.
Causation as Influence.David K. Lewis - 2000 - Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):182-197.

View all 30 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Robust Flickers of Freedom.Michael Robinson - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):211-233.
Blocking Blockage.Ken Levy - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):565-583.
Blocking Blockage.Ken Levy - 2016 - Philosophia 44 (2):565-582.
Moral Responsibility and the Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Daniel James Speak - 2002 - Dissertation, University of California, Riverside
Leeway Compatibilism and Frankfurt‐Style Cases.Yishai Cohen - 2016 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 5 (2):89-98.
A Critique of Frankfurt-Libertarianism.Kevin Timpe - 2006 - Philosophia 34 (2):189-202.
A Challenge for Frankfurt-Style Compatibilists.Philip Swenson - 2015 - Philosophical Studies 172 (5):1279-1285.
The Limits of Limited-Blockage Frankfurt-Style Cases.Michael Robinson - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 169 (3):429-446.


Added to PP index

Total views
43 ( #263,328 of 2,507,351 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
16 ( #51,643 of 2,507,351 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes