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Is Semicompatibilism Unstable?

Taylor W. Cyr
  • University of California, Riverside Department of Philosophy, HMNSS 1604 900 University Avenue Riverside, CA 92521, USA
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Published Online: 2018-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0006


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.

Keywords: Ability; John Martin Fischer; John Maier; option; semicompatibilism


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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 245–264, ISSN (Online) 0873-626X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0006.

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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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