The Journal of Ethics

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 37–42 | Cite as

A Rejoinder to Fischer and Tognazzini



In Otsuka (1998), I endorse an incompatibilist Principle of Avoidable Blame. In this rejoinder to Fischer and Tognazzini (2009), I defend this principle against their charge that it is vulnerable to Frankfurt-type counterexample.


Flicker of freedom Harry Frankfurt Frankfurt counterexample Free will Incompatibilism Moral responsibility Principle of Alternate Possibilities Principle of Avoidable Blame 



I am very grateful to John Fischer and Neal Tognazzini for their challenging, illuminating, and lucid critique. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank John in print for leading me down the path to becoming a philosopher by providing me with such a compelling introduction to the subject when I was an undergraduate, and he an assistant professor, at Yale in the mid-eighties. I thank Kieran Setiya and Karin Boxer for discussion of this critique that has informed my rejoinder and Pete Graham for comments on this rejoinder.


  1. Fischer, J., and N. Tognazzini. 2009. Blame and avoidability: A reply to Otsuka. The Journal of Ethics 13. doi:10.1007/s10892-009-9056-0.
  2. Frankfurt, H. 1969. Alternate possibilities and moral responsibility. The Journal of Philosophy 66: 829–839.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Otsuka, M. 1998. Incompatibilism and the avoidability of blame. Ethics 108: 685–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

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