Philosophical Studies

, Volume 144, Issue 1, pp 3–13 | Cite as

Compatibilism & desert: critical comments on four views on free will

  • Michael McKenna


In this paper I offer from a source compatibilist’s perspective a critical discussion of Four Views on Free Will by John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom, and Manuel Vargas. Sharing Fischer’s semi-compatibilist view, I propose modifications to his arguments while resisting his coauthors’ objections. I argue against Kane that he should give up the requirement that a free and morally responsible agent be able to do otherwise (in relevant cases). I argue against Pereboom that his famed manipulation argument be resisted by contending that the agents in it are free and responsible. And I also argue against Vargas by challenging the sense in which his revisionist thesis differs from a position like Fischer’s and mine. I close by reflecting on the nature of desert. All seem to assume it is central to the debate, but what is it?


Free will Moral responsibility Determinism Compatibilism Source compatibilism desert Manipulation PAP Revisionism Fischer Kane Pereboom Vargas 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Florida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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