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Alternative Possibilities and Causal Overdetermination

Ferenc Huoranszki
Published Online: 2018-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0004


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.

Keywords: Freedom; possibilities; abilities; overdetermination; preemption


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About the article

Received: 2017-07-27

Accepted: 2017-02-11

Published Online: 2018-03-06

Published in Print: 2017-10-26

Citation Information: Disputatio, Volume 9, Issue 45, Pages 193–217, ISSN (Online) 0873-626X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0004.

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© 2018. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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