Philosophical Studies

, Volume 153, Issue 2, pp 261–272

Pereboom on the Frankfurt cases


DOI: 10.1007/s11098-009-9489-0

Cite this article as:
Palmer, D. Philos Stud (2011) 153: 261. doi:10.1007/s11098-009-9489-0


According to the principle of alternative possibilities (PAP), a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. In what follows, I want to defend this principle against an apparent counterexample offered recently by Derk Pereboom (Living without free will, 2001; Midwest Studies in Philosophy, 29:228–247, 2005). Pereboom’s case, a variant of what are known as ‘Frankfurt cases,’ is important for it attempts to overcome a dilemma posed for earlier alleged counterexamples to PAP. However, I will argue that by paying closer attention to the details of Pereboom’s example, we see that his example fails to show a way between the horns of the dilemma posed for the earlier Frankfurt examples.


EthicsMetaphysicsMoral responsibilityFree willFrankfurtPereboom

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of Tennessee, KnoxvilleKnoxvilleUSA