Frankfurt-Type Examples and SemiCompatibilism: New Work

John Martin Fischer

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780195399691
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Frankfurt-Type Examples and SemiCompatibilism: New Work

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This article provides an overview of arguments for and against Frankfurt-type examples over the past few decades. It considers various strategies by which critics of these examples have tried to rescue PAP, or variations of it, and also considers various responses to these critics. It notes that moral responsibility does not require alternative possibilities, but also believes that freedom does imply alternative possibilities. The resulting view is called semicompatibilism. According to semicompatibilism, moral responsibility is compatible with determinism (since it does not require the power to do otherwise), whereas freedom (which does require this power) is not compatible with determinism. The article concludes with an explanation of what motivates this semicompatibilist position and how to give a positive compatibilist account of moral responsibility in terms of notions of guidance control and reasons-responsiveness.

Keywords: alternative possibilities; freedom; semicompatibilism; determinism; moral responsibility

Article.  11426 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Moral Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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