, Volume 154, Issue 3, pp 361-371
Date: 28 Apr 2010

What must a proof of incompatibilism prove?

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Abstract

Peter van Inwagen has developed two highly influential strategies for establishing incompatibilism about causal determinism and moral responsibility. These have come to be known as ‘the Direct Argument’ and ‘the Indirect Argument,’ respectively. In recent years, the two arguments have attracted closely related criticisms. In each case, it is claimed, the argument does not provide a fully general defense of the incompatibilist’s conclusion. While the critics are right to notice these arguments’ limitations, they have not made it clear what the problem with the arguments is supposed to be. I suggest three possibilities, arguing that none proves to be well founded. I conclude that the scope of these arguments is fully adequate for their defenders’ purposes.