Causal History Matters, but Not for Individuation

Canadian Journal of Philosophy 39 (1):77-91 (2009)
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In ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility,’ Harry Frankfurt introduces a scenario aimed at showing that the having of alternative possibilities is not required for moral responsibility. According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), an agent is morally responsible for her action only if she could have done otherwise; Frankfurt thinks his scenario shows that PAP is, in fact, false. Frankfurt thinks that the denial of PAP gives credence to compatibilism, the thesis that an agent could both be causally determined in all her actions and yet be morally responsible.1 Since its introduction, Frankfurt’s original ex-



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