A critique of Frankfurt-libertarianism

Philosophia 34 (2):189-202 (2006)
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Abstract

Most libertarians think that some version of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) is true. A number of libertarians, which I call ‘Frankfurt-libertarians,’ think that they need not embrace any version of PAP. In this paper, I examine the writings of one such Frankfurt-libertarian, Eleonore Stump, for her evaluation of the impact of Frankfurt-style counterexamples (FSCs) to PAP. I show how, contrary to her own claims, Stump does need a PAP-like principle for her account of free action. I briefly argue that this discussion also goes some distance to showing that any Frankfurt-libertarian is in a similar position regarding the need for some PAP-like principle. If I am correct, then Frankfurt-libertarians must either renounce their incompatibilism or concede that FSCs fail to show all PAP-like principles to be false.

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Kevin Timpe
Calvin College

Citations of this work

Free will.Timothy O'Connor & Christopher Evan Franklin - 2018 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
Why free will remains a mystery.Seth Shabo - 2011 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (1):105-125.
Robust flickers of freedom.Michael Robinson - 2019 - Social Philosophy and Policy 36 (1):211-233.
Flickers of Freedom and Moral Luck.Carolina Sartorio - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 43 (1):93-105.

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References found in this work

An Essay on Free Will.Peter Van Inwagen - 1983 - New York: Oxford University Press.
Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility.Harry G. Frankfurt - 1969 - Journal of Philosophy 66 (23):829-839.
Living Without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Living without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2001 - Philosophical Quarterly 53 (211):308-310.
Living without Free Will.Derk Pereboom - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 67 (2):494-497.

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