Philosophical Studies

, Volume 158, Issue 1, pp 1–15 | Cite as

Action, responsibility and the ability to do otherwise

  • Justin A. CapesEmail author


Here it is argued that in order for something someone “does” to count as a genuine action, the person needn’t have been able to refrain from doing it. If this is right, then two recent defenses of the principle of alternative possibilities, a version of which says that a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have refrained from doing it, are unsuccessful.


Action Free will Moral responsibility Alternative possibilities Frankfurt-style cases 



For helpful comments on earlier drafts of this paper I would like to thank Andrew Bailey, Randy Clarke, Al Mele, Michael McKenna, and an anonymous referee for Philosophical Studies.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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