Responsibility and Frankfurt-type Examples

David Widerker

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Published in print March 2005 | ISBN: 9780195178548
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

Responsibility and Frankfurt-type Examples


This article examines recent attempts to strengthen Frankfurt's argument against the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) by providing better examples of FR-situations. It considers these examples from a libertarian viewpoint and argues that they do not succeed either. Even if at one point a defender of Frankfurt might be able to come up with a genuine example of an FR-situation, avoidability would still remain a necessary condition for at least one important type of moral responsibility—that of moral blameworthiness. In the course of defending this last claim, the article defends a more comprehensive constraint on moral blameworthiness than avoidability, and then applies this constraint to meet a well-known recent objection to PAP by John Fischer.

Keywords: Principle of Alternative Possibilities; moral responsibility; moral blameworthiness; avoidability; John Fischer

Article.  5229 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribeRecommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »