Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities: Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities

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This book explores an important issue within the free will debate: the relation between free will and moral responsibility. In his seminal article 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility', Harry Frankfurt launched a vigorous attack on the standard conception of that relation, questioning the claim that a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Since then, Frankfurt's thesis has been at the center of philosophical discussions on free will and moral responsibility.

Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities, edited by David Widerker and Michael McKenna, draws together the most recent work on Frankfurt's thesis by leading theorists in the area of free will and responsibility. As the majority of the essays appear here for the first time, Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities offers the newest developments in this important debate.

About the Author:
David Widerker, Department of Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University, Israel and Michael McKenna, Professor, Philosophy and Religion Department Ithaca College, USA

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780754604952
  • Publisher: Ashgate Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/1/2003
  • Pages: 364
  • Product dimensions: 6.50 (w) x 9.53 (h) x 1.06 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Contributors
Introduction 1
Ch. 1 Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility 17
Ch. 2 Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities 27
Ch. 3 Blameworthiness and Frankfurt's Argument Against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities 53
Ch. 4 In Defense of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities: Why I Don't Find Frankfurt's Argument Convincing 75
Ch. 5 Responsibility, Indeterminism and Frankfurt-style Cases: A Reply to Mele and Robb 91
Ch. 6 Classical Compatibilism: Not Dead Yet 107
Ch. 7 Bbs, Magnets and Seesaws: The Metaphysics of Frankfurt-style Cases 127
Ch. 8 Moral Responsibility without Alternative Possibilities 139
Ch. 9 Freedom, Foreknowledge and Frankfurt 159
Ch. 10 Source Incompatibilism and Alternative Possibilities 185
Ch. 11 Robustness, Control, and the Demand for Morally Significant Alternatives: Frankfurt Examples with Oodles and Oodles of Alternatives 201
Ch. 12 Alternate Possibilities and Reid's Theory of Agent-causation 219
Ch. 13 Responsibility and Agent-causation 235
Ch. 14 Soft Libertarianism and Flickers of Freedom 251
Ch. 15 'Ought' Implies 'Can', Blameworthiness, and the Principle of Alternate Possibilities 265
Ch. 16 The Moral Significance of Alternate Possibilities 301
Ch. 17 The Selling of Joseph - A Frankfurtian Interpretation 327
Ch. 18 Some Thoughts Concerning PAP 339
Bibliography 347
Index 355
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