1st Edition

Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities Essays on the Importance of Alternative Possibilities

Edited By Michael McKenna, David Widerker Copyright 2003

    This book was published in 2003. This book explores an important issue within the free will debate: the relation between free will and moral responsibility. In his seminal article "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility", Harry Frankfurt launched a vigorous attack on the standard conception of that relation, questioning the claim that a person is morally responsible for what she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Since then, Frankfurt's thesis has been at the center of philosophical discussions on free will and moral responsibility. "Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities", edited by David Widerker and Michael McKenna, draws together the most recent work on Frankfurt's thesis by leading theorists in the area of free will and responsibility. As the majority of the essays appear here for the first time, "Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities" offers the newest developments in this important debate.

    Introduction, Michael McKenna and David Widerker; Alternate possibilities and moral responsibility, Harry Frankfurt; Responsibility and alternative possibilities, John Martin Fischer; Blameworthiness and Frankfurt's argument against the principle of alternative possibilities, David Widerker; In defense of alternative possibilities: why I don't find Frankfurt's argument convincing, Carl Ginet; Responsibility, indeterminism and Frankfurt-style cases: a reply to Mele and Robb, Robert Kane; Classical compatibilism: not dead yet, Bernard Berofksy; BBs, magnets, and seesaws: the metaphysics of Frankfurt-style cases, Alfred R. Mele and David Robb; Moral responsibility without alternative possibilities, Eleonore Stump; Freedom, foreknowledge, and Frankfurt, David Hunt; Source incompatibilism and alternative possibilities, Derk Pereboom; Robustness, control, and the demand for morally significant alternatives: Frankfurt examples with oodles and oodles of alternatives, Michael McKenna; Alternate possibilities and Reid's theory of agent causation, William Rowe; Responsibility and agent causation, John Martin Fischer; Soft libertarianism and flickers of freedom, Alfred Mele; 'Ought' implies 'can', blameworthiness, and the principle of alternate possibilities, David Copp; The moral significance of alternate possibilities, Michael Zimmerman; The selling of Joseph - a Frankfurtian interpretation, Charlotte Katzoff; Some thoughts concerning PAP, Harry Frankfurt.


    David Widerker is Professor in the Department of Philosophy, Bar-Ilan University, Israel. Michael McKenna is Professor in the Philosophy and Religion Department at Ithaca College, USA.