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SPECIAL ISSUE: ON THE VERY IDEA OF LOGICAL FORM

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SYMPOSIUM ON JASON STANLEY’S “HOW PROPAGANDA WORKS”

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XII Taller d'Investigació en Filosofia

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Petrus Hispanus 2009

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Homage to M. S. Lourenço

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Normativity and Rationality

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Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première publication
16 Apr 2017
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

Volume 9 (2017): Edition 45 (October 2017)

Détails du magazine
Format
Magazine
eISSN
2182-2875
Première publication
16 Apr 2017
Période de publication
4 fois par an
Langues
Anglais

Chercher

8 Articles
access type Accès libre

Does Free Will Require Alternative Possibilities?

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 131 - 146

Résumé

Abstract

In this introductory study I discuss the notion of alternative possibilities and its relation to contemporary debates on free will and moral responsibility. I focus on two issues: whether Frankfurt-style cases refute the principle of alternative possibilities, and whether alternative possibilities are relevant to grounding free will and moral responsibility. With respect to the first issue, I consider three objections to Frankfurt-syle cases: the flicker strategy, the dilemma defense, and the objection from new dispositionalism. With respect to the second issue, I consider the debate between Alternative Possibilities views and Actual Sequence views, as framed by Carolina Sartorio in her Causation and Free Will. I then explain how these two issues are relevant to the papers included in this volume.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • Frankfurt
  • actual sequence
  • free will
  • moral responsibility
access type Accès libre

Actual Causes and Free Will

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 147 - 165

Résumé

Abstract

In this paper I reexamine the debate between two contrasting conceptions of free will: the classical model, which understands freedom in terms of alternative possibilities, and a more recent family of views that focus only on actual causes, and that were inspired by Frankfurt’s famous attack on the principle of alternative possibilities. I offer a novel argument in support of the actual-causes model, one that bypasses the popular debate about Frankfurt-style cases.

Mots clés

  • Causation
  • actual causes
  • free will
  • alternative possibilities
  • Frankfurt
access type Accès libre

Free Will and Open Alternatives

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 167 - 191

Résumé

Abstract

In her recent book Causation and Free Will, Carolina Sartorio develops a distinctive version of an actual-sequence account of free will, according to which, when agents choose and act freely, their freedom is exclusively grounded in, and supervenes on, the actual causal history of such choices or actions. Against this proposal, I argue for an alternative- possibilities account, according to which agents’ freedom is partly grounded in their ability to choose or act otherwise. Actual-sequence accounts of freedom (and moral responsibility) are motivated by a reflection on so-called Frankfurt cases. Instead, other cases, such as two pairs of examples originally designed by van Inwagen, threaten actual-sequence accounts, including Sartorio’s. On the basis of her (rather complex) view of causation, Sartorio contends, however, that the two members of each pair have different causal histories, so that her view is not undermined by those cases after all. I discuss these test cases further and defend my alternative-possibilities account of freedom.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • actual sequences
  • robustness
  • Frankfurt cases
  • van Inwagen
access type Accès libre

Alternative Possibilities and Causal Overdetermination

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 193 - 217

Résumé

Abstract

This paper argues against dismissing the Principle of Alternative Possibilities merely on the ground of so-called Frankfurt-style cases. Its main claims are that the interpretation of such cases depends on which substantive theory of responsibility one endorses and that Frankfurt-style cases all involve some form of causal overdetermination which can be interpreted either as being compatible with the potentially manipulated agent’s ability to act otherwise or as a responsibility undermining constraint. The paper also argues that the possibility of such scenarios can support the truth of classical compatibilism as much as the truth of semicompatibilism.

Mots clés

  • Freedom
  • possibilities
  • abilities
  • overdetermination
  • preemption
access type Accès libre

Supervenient Freedom and the Free Will Deadlock

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 219 - 243

Résumé

Abstract

Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subvening physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwise if they can do so in their actual circumstances, holding the past and the laws constant, while nonetheless arguing that this ability is compatible with physical determinism. However, we argue that supervenient libertarianism faces some serious problems, and that it fails to break us free from this deadlock within the free will debate.

Mots clés

  • Compatibilism
  • determinism
  • incompatibilism
  • non-reductive physicalism
  • supervenient libertarianism
access type Accès libre

Is Semicompatibilism Unstable?

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 245 - 264

Résumé

Abstract

Recently, John Maier has developed a unified account of various agentive modalities (such as general abilities, potentialities, and skills). According to him, however, adopting the account provides an alternative framework for thinking about free will and moral responsibility, one that reveals an unacceptable instability in semicompatibilism (the view that the freedom required for moral responsibility is compatible with determinism even if the freedom to do otherwise is not). In this paper, I argue that Maier is mistaken about the implications of his account and sketch a semicompatibilist proposal that can, without countenancing any instability, accept Maier’s unified account of the agentive modalities.

Mots clés

  • Ability
  • John Martin Fischer
  • John Maier
  • option
  • semicompatibilism
access type Accès libre

A Modest Classical Compatibilism

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 265 - 285

Résumé

Abstract

The advent of Frankfurt-style counterexamples in the early 1970s posed a problem not merely for incompatibilists, but for compatibilists also. At that time compatibilists too were concerned to hold that the presence of alternative possibilities was necessary for moral responsibility. Such a classical compatibilism, I argue in this paper, should not have been left behind. I propose that we can use a Kratzer-style semantics of ‘can’ to model ‘could have done otherwise’ statements in such a way that the truth of such expressions is both (i) evidently consistent with determinism, and (ii) clearly such that Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not count as cases where the agent could not have done otherwise.

Mots clés

  • Classical compatibilism
  • Angelika Kratzer
  • alternative possibilities
  • moral responsibility
  • Frankfurt-style counterexamples
access type Accès libre

Alternative Possibilities, Volitional Necessities, and Character Setting

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 287 - 307

Résumé

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that the power to do otherwise is necessary for being morally responsible. While much of the literature on alternative possibilities has focused on Frankfurt’s argument against this claim, I instead focus on one of Dennett’s (1984) arguments against it. This argument appeals to cases of volitional necessity rather than cases featuring counterfactual interveners. van Inwagen (1989) and Kane (1996) appeal to the notion of ‘character setting’ to argue that these cases do not show that the power to do otherwise is unnecessary for moral responsibility. In this paper, I argue that their character setting response is unsuccessful.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • moral responsibility
  • character setting
  • volitional necessity
  • free will
8 Articles
access type Accès libre

Does Free Will Require Alternative Possibilities?

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 131 - 146

Résumé

Abstract

In this introductory study I discuss the notion of alternative possibilities and its relation to contemporary debates on free will and moral responsibility. I focus on two issues: whether Frankfurt-style cases refute the principle of alternative possibilities, and whether alternative possibilities are relevant to grounding free will and moral responsibility. With respect to the first issue, I consider three objections to Frankfurt-syle cases: the flicker strategy, the dilemma defense, and the objection from new dispositionalism. With respect to the second issue, I consider the debate between Alternative Possibilities views and Actual Sequence views, as framed by Carolina Sartorio in her Causation and Free Will. I then explain how these two issues are relevant to the papers included in this volume.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • Frankfurt
  • actual sequence
  • free will
  • moral responsibility
access type Accès libre

Actual Causes and Free Will

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 147 - 165

Résumé

Abstract

In this paper I reexamine the debate between two contrasting conceptions of free will: the classical model, which understands freedom in terms of alternative possibilities, and a more recent family of views that focus only on actual causes, and that were inspired by Frankfurt’s famous attack on the principle of alternative possibilities. I offer a novel argument in support of the actual-causes model, one that bypasses the popular debate about Frankfurt-style cases.

Mots clés

  • Causation
  • actual causes
  • free will
  • alternative possibilities
  • Frankfurt
access type Accès libre

Free Will and Open Alternatives

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 167 - 191

Résumé

Abstract

In her recent book Causation and Free Will, Carolina Sartorio develops a distinctive version of an actual-sequence account of free will, according to which, when agents choose and act freely, their freedom is exclusively grounded in, and supervenes on, the actual causal history of such choices or actions. Against this proposal, I argue for an alternative- possibilities account, according to which agents’ freedom is partly grounded in their ability to choose or act otherwise. Actual-sequence accounts of freedom (and moral responsibility) are motivated by a reflection on so-called Frankfurt cases. Instead, other cases, such as two pairs of examples originally designed by van Inwagen, threaten actual-sequence accounts, including Sartorio’s. On the basis of her (rather complex) view of causation, Sartorio contends, however, that the two members of each pair have different causal histories, so that her view is not undermined by those cases after all. I discuss these test cases further and defend my alternative-possibilities account of freedom.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • actual sequences
  • robustness
  • Frankfurt cases
  • van Inwagen
access type Accès libre

Alternative Possibilities and Causal Overdetermination

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 193 - 217

Résumé

Abstract

This paper argues against dismissing the Principle of Alternative Possibilities merely on the ground of so-called Frankfurt-style cases. Its main claims are that the interpretation of such cases depends on which substantive theory of responsibility one endorses and that Frankfurt-style cases all involve some form of causal overdetermination which can be interpreted either as being compatible with the potentially manipulated agent’s ability to act otherwise or as a responsibility undermining constraint. The paper also argues that the possibility of such scenarios can support the truth of classical compatibilism as much as the truth of semicompatibilism.

Mots clés

  • Freedom
  • possibilities
  • abilities
  • overdetermination
  • preemption
access type Accès libre

Supervenient Freedom and the Free Will Deadlock

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 219 - 243

Résumé

Abstract

Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subvening physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwise if they can do so in their actual circumstances, holding the past and the laws constant, while nonetheless arguing that this ability is compatible with physical determinism. However, we argue that supervenient libertarianism faces some serious problems, and that it fails to break us free from this deadlock within the free will debate.

Mots clés

  • Compatibilism
  • determinism
  • incompatibilism
  • non-reductive physicalism
  • supervenient libertarianism
access type Accès libre

Is Semicompatibilism Unstable?

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 245 - 264

Résumé

Abstract

Recently, John Maier has developed a unified account of various agentive modalities (such as general abilities, potentialities, and skills). According to him, however, adopting the account provides an alternative framework for thinking about free will and moral responsibility, one that reveals an unacceptable instability in semicompatibilism (the view that the freedom required for moral responsibility is compatible with determinism even if the freedom to do otherwise is not). In this paper, I argue that Maier is mistaken about the implications of his account and sketch a semicompatibilist proposal that can, without countenancing any instability, accept Maier’s unified account of the agentive modalities.

Mots clés

  • Ability
  • John Martin Fischer
  • John Maier
  • option
  • semicompatibilism
access type Accès libre

A Modest Classical Compatibilism

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 265 - 285

Résumé

Abstract

The advent of Frankfurt-style counterexamples in the early 1970s posed a problem not merely for incompatibilists, but for compatibilists also. At that time compatibilists too were concerned to hold that the presence of alternative possibilities was necessary for moral responsibility. Such a classical compatibilism, I argue in this paper, should not have been left behind. I propose that we can use a Kratzer-style semantics of ‘can’ to model ‘could have done otherwise’ statements in such a way that the truth of such expressions is both (i) evidently consistent with determinism, and (ii) clearly such that Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not count as cases where the agent could not have done otherwise.

Mots clés

  • Classical compatibilism
  • Angelika Kratzer
  • alternative possibilities
  • moral responsibility
  • Frankfurt-style counterexamples
access type Accès libre

Alternative Possibilities, Volitional Necessities, and Character Setting

Publié en ligne: 06 Mar 2018
Pages: 287 - 307

Résumé

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that the power to do otherwise is necessary for being morally responsible. While much of the literature on alternative possibilities has focused on Frankfurt’s argument against this claim, I instead focus on one of Dennett’s (1984) arguments against it. This argument appeals to cases of volitional necessity rather than cases featuring counterfactual interveners. van Inwagen (1989) and Kane (1996) appeal to the notion of ‘character setting’ to argue that these cases do not show that the power to do otherwise is unnecessary for moral responsibility. In this paper, I argue that their character setting response is unsuccessful.

Mots clés

  • Alternative possibilities
  • moral responsibility
  • character setting
  • volitional necessity
  • free will

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