Does Everyone Think the Ability to do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility?

Abstract

Christopher Franklin argues that, despite appearances, everyone thinks that the ability to do otherwise is required for free will and moral responsibility. Moreover, he says that the way to decide which ability to do otherwise is required will involve settling the nature of moral responsibility. In this paper I highlight one point on which those usually called leeway theorists - i.e. those who accept the need for alternatives - agree, in contradistinction to those who deny that the ability to do otherwise is needed for free will. And I explain why it falsifies both of Franklin’s claims.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    I will assume here that Franklin means the proposition expressed by the sentences he names in the passage cited.

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Correspondence to Simon Kittle.

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Kittle, S. Does Everyone Think the Ability to do Otherwise is Necessary for Free Will and Moral Responsibility?. Philosophia 47, 1177–1183 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11406-018-0044-0

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Keywords

  • Free will
  • Alternative possibilities
  • The ability to do otherwise