Ingmar Persson

in The Retreat of Reason

Published in print November 2005 | ISBN: 9780199276905
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780191603198 | DOI:

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This chapter begins by conceding Harry Frankfurt’s point that responsibility for an action does not require that we could have acted otherwise at the time in question. But it goes on to argue that it requires that, at the time of action, we believe that we can act otherwise if we decide to do so and, thus, unless we are victims of a grand illusion, that we can often act otherwise; otherwise, serious deliberation would be ruled out. This chapter also argues that this compatibilism is not defeated by the argument by Peter van Inwagen that in a world in which determinism is true, we cannot act otherwise because we can change neither the past nor the laws of nature.

Keywords: compatibilism; determinism; Harry Frankfurt; Peter van Inwagen; responsibility; action

Chapter.  4654 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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