Obligation, Reason, and Frankfurt Examples

Ishtiyaque Haji

in The Oxford Handbook of Free Will

Second edition

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

Series: Oxford Handbooks

 Obligation, Reason, and Frankfurt Examples

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This article gives an unusual twist to debates about Frankfurt-type examples. It defends the thesis that if agents are to be fit subjects of “morally deontic judgments”, they must have the power to act and to act otherwise. It argues that, if moral praiseworthiness and blameworthiness for actions presuppose that the agents praised or blamed are “fit subjects of morally deontic judgments”, then moral praiseworthiness and blameworthiness would also presuppose the power to act and to act otherwise. In defending these claims, the article makes use of a technical analysis of the notion of moral obligation in terms of accessible possible worlds advanced by Fred Feldman and Michael Zimmerman.

Keywords: Frankfurt-type examples; moral action; morally deontic judgments; Fred Feldman; Michael Zimmerman; moral obligation

Article.  8911 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; Metaphysics

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