Philosophical Studies

, Volume 125, Issue 1, pp 115–137 | Cite as

A Contextualist Reply to the Direct Argument

  • Matthew H. SlaterEmail author


The Direct Argument for the incompatibility of moral responsibility and determinism is designed to side-step complaints given by compatibilist critiques of the so-called Transfer Argument. I argue that while it represents an improvement over the Transfer Argument, it loses some of its plausibility when we reflect on some metalogical issues about normal modal modeling and the semantics of natural language. More specifically, the crucial principle on which the Direct Argument depends appears doubtful where context plays a role in evaluation of normative claims.


Natural Language Moral Responsibility Normative Claim Modal Modeling Direct Argument 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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