Philosophical Studies

, Volume 173, Issue 7, pp 1963–1982 | Cite as

In defence of the Four-Case Argument

  • Benjamin MathesonEmail author


Pereboom’s (Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001) Four-Case Argument was once considered to be the most powerful of the manipulation arguments against compatibilism. However, because of Demetriou’s (Australas J Philos 88(4):595–617, 2010) response, Pereboom (Free will, agency, and meaning in life, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2014) has significantly weakened his argument. Manipulation arguments in general have also been challenged by King (Ethics 124(1): 65–83, 2013). In this paper, I argue that the Four-Case Argument resists both these challenges. One upshot is that Pereboom doesn’t need weaken his argument. Another is that compatibilists still need a response the Four-Case Argument. And another is that we get a much better understanding of the Four-Case Argument, and of manipulation arguments more generally, than is currently available in the literature.


Derk Pereboom Four-Case Argument Manipulation Compatibilism Incompatibilism 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GothenburgGothenburgSweden

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