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Double Defence Against Multiple Case Manipulation Arguments


The article aims to show that compatibilism can be defended against Pereboom’s ‘Four Case’ Manipulation Argument (Pereboom 2001), hereinafter referred to as 4-Case MA, by combining the soft-line and the hard-line replies. In the first section, I argue that the original version of the 4-Case MA was refuted by the soft-line reply, but Pereboom’s (2014) modified version of the argument can’t be refuted this way. In the second section, I analyse McKenna’s hard-line reply to the original Pereboom’s 4-Case MA and argue that it wasn’t completely successful. In section three, I present five new Pereboom-style cases. In section four, I argue that these new cases constitute a combination of the soft-line and hard-line defence against Pereboom’s modified multiple case manipulation argument.

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  1. A comprehensive recent review is (Mickelson 2016).

  2. Plum1’s difference from ordinary agents is persuasively shown in (Demetriou 2010).

  3. Mele writes that ‘full-blown, deliberative, intentional action involves … (1) some psychological basis for practical evaluative reasoning, including not only such things as the agent’s values, desires and beliefs, but also the agent’s deliberative skills, habits and capacities; (2) an evaluative judgment that is made on the basis of such reasoning and recommends a particular course of action; (3) an intention formed or acquired on the basis of that judgment; (4) an action, A, executing this intention’ (Mele 1995: 211–212).


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This work was supported by the Russian Science Foundation under Grant No. 18-18-00222.

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Correspondence to Maria Sekatskaya.

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Sekatskaya, M. Double Defence Against Multiple Case Manipulation Arguments. Philosophia 47, 1283–1295 (2019).

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  • Manipulation argument
  • Hard-line reply
  • Soft-line reply
  • Moral responsibility
  • Compatibilism