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A Modest Classical Compatibilism

Matthew J. Hart
Published Online: 2018-03-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0007


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.

Keywords: Classical compatibilism; Angelika Kratzer; alternative possibilities; moral responsibility; Frankfurt-style counterexamples


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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 265–285, ISSN (Online) 0873-626X, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/disp-2017-0007.

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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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