Desperately seeking sourcehood
In a recent essay, Deery and Nahmias (Philos Stud 174(5):1255–1276, 2017) utilize interventionism about causation to develop an account of causal sourcehood in order to defend compatibilism about free will and moral responsibility from manipulation arguments. In this paper, we criticize Deery and Nahmias’s analysis of sourcehood by drawing a distinction between two forms of causal invariance that can come into conflict on their account. We conclude that any attempt to resolve this conflict will either result in counterintuitive attributions of moral responsibility or will undermine their response to manipulation arguments.
KeywordsFree will Moral responsibility Manipulation arguments Interventionism Causation Deery and Nahmias
We’d like to thank Derk Pereboom and an anonymous referee for their very helpful comments and suggestions on earlier versions of this essay. We’d also like to thank the participants of the “Free Will and Laws of Nature” workshop, hosted at the University of Cologne and organized by Andreas Hüttemann and Christian Loew, as well as the audience at the University of Sydney’s Current Projects Seminar, for their excellent questions and feedback.
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