Harry Frankfurt Alternate Possibilities And Moral Responsibility Pdf

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harry frankfurt alternate possibilities and moral responsibility pdf

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Don't have an account? Frankfurt seeks to challenge the Principle of Alternate Possibilities PAP by stating that causal determinism is perfectly compatible with moral responsibility, and that the rejection of PAP would appear to help people make philosophical progress.

Dennett, Daniel. Fischer, John Martin. Four Views on Free Will.

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Moral Responsibility and the Principle of Alternative Possibilities

Australasian Journal of Philosophy , 87 1 , The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. Such cases all require a counterfactual mechanism that could cause an agent to perform an action that he cannot avoid performing. I argue that, given our concept of what it is for someone to act, this requirement is inconsistent. Frankfurt-style alleged counterexamples are cases where an agent is morally responsible for an action he performs even though, the claim goes, he could not have avoided performing that action. However, it has recently been argued, e.

Shaky Ground

Either your web browser doesn't support Javascript or it is currently turned off. In the latter case, please turn on Javascript support in your web browser and reload this page. The aim of this paper is to present a version of the principle of alternate possibilities PAP which is not susceptible to the Frankfurt-style counter-example. I argue that PAP does not need to be endorsed as a necessary condition for moral responsibility and, in fact, presenting PAP as a sufficient condition maintains its usefulness as a maxim for moral accountability whilst avoiding Frankfurt-style counter-examples. In addition, I provide a further sufficient condition for moral responsibility — the twin world condition — and argue that this provides a means of justifying why the protagonist in Frankfurt-style scenarios e. I conclude with the claim that neither the amended PAP nor the twin world condition is necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility; rather, what is necessary is simply that one of these conditions is satisfied.


Principle of Alternate Possibilities: If someone is morally responsible for performing an action, they were able to perform some other action instead. •. Frankfurt.


Frankfurt cases

Frankfurt cases also known as Frankfurt counterexamples or Frankfurt-style cases were presented by philosopher Harry Frankfurt in as counterexamples to the principle of alternate possibilities PAP , which holds that an agent is morally responsible for an action only if that person could have done otherwise. The principle of alternate possibilities PAP forms part of an influential argument for the incompatibility of responsibility and causal determinism , often called the core argument for incompatibilism. Traditionally, compatibilists defenders of the compatibility of free will and determinism, like A. Ayer , Walter Terence Stace , and Daniel Dennett reject premise two, arguing that, properly understood, free will is not incompatible with determinism.

Harry Frankfurt,

The Frankfurt Cases

The aim of this paper is to present a version of the principle of alternate possibilities PAP which is not susceptible to the Frankfurt-style counter-example. I argue that PAP does not need to be endorsed as a necessary condition for moral responsibility and, in fact, presenting PAP as a sufficient condition maintains its usefulness as a maxim for moral accountability whilst avoiding Frankfurt-style counter-examples. In addition, I provide a further sufficient condition for moral responsibility — the twin world condition — and argue that this provides a means of justifying why the protagonist in Frankfurt-style scenarios e. I conclude with the claim that neither the amended PAP nor the twin world condition is necessary for the ascription of moral responsibility; rather, what is necessary is simply that one of these conditions is satisfied. He then sets out, using his now famous counter-example involving Jones and Black, to show that PAP is false. A number of theorists have concerned themselves with the question of whether alternate possibilities nevertheless remain — amounting to a flicker of freedom Fischer — and therefore whether Frankfurt-style counter-examples in general constitute a legitimate challenge to PAP see Fischer ; Janzen ; Leon and Tognazzini ; Palmer ; Schnall ; Young , by way of a small selection of papers on this.

This enviable piece of philosophy has been as successful as any other in the past three decades of the determinism and freedom debate. It has given rise to a continuing controversy. At its centre is what seems to be a refutation of what seems to be the cast-iron principle that in order for someone to be morally responsible for an action, it must be possible that he or she could have done otherwise. The principle has been assumed by philosophers persuaded that determinism is incompatible with freedom and also by philosophers persuaded that determinism is compatible with freedom. However, Frankfurt's article has mainly been read as lending support to the Compatibilist idea.

Suppose you harm, offend, or otherwise wrong another person. Frankfurt :. Principle of Alternative Possibilities PAP : a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Although its precise form and interpretation have varied, this principle has enjoyed broad support in the history of philosophy. PAP was a standard—even if not universal—presupposition of Greek, medieval, and early modern thought Irwin ; Pasnau ; Rowe And until about fifty years ago, it was usually taken for granted by both sides in debates on whether moral responsibility is compatible with determinism.


Harry Frankfurt is a vigorous opponent of the principle of alternative pos- to freedom and moral responsibility, that examples such as the.


Actions, thought-experiments and the ‘Principle of alternate Possibilities’

1 Comments

  1. Girlcolvole 11.06.2021 at 18:41

    Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility. Harry G. Frankfurt. The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 66, No. (Dec. 4, ), pp.