Philosophical Studies

, Volume 174, Issue 4, pp 967–981 | Cite as

Frankfurt cases: the fine-grained response revisited

  • Justin A. CapesEmail author
  • Philip Swenson


Frankfurt cases are supposed to provide us with counterexamples to the principle of alternative possibilities. Among the most well known responses to these cases is what John Fischer has dubbed the flicker of freedom strategy. Here we revisit a version of this strategy, which we refer to as the fine-grained response. Although a number of philosophers, including some who are otherwise unsympathetic to Frankfurt’s argument, have dismissed the fine grained response, we believe there is a good deal to be said on its behalf. We argue, in particular, that reflection on certain cases involving omissions undermines the main objections to the response and also provides the groundwork for an argument in support of it.


Moral responsibility Alternative possibilities Frankfurt cases Flicker of freedom Omissions 



Thanks to John Martin Fischer and an anonymous referee for very helpful comments.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and HumanitiesEast Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy, Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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