The Direct Argument is a Prima Facie Threat to Compatibilism

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Abstract

In the early 1980’s van Inwagen presented the Direct Argument for the incompatibility of determinism with moral responsibility. In the course of the ensuing debate, Fischer, McKenna and Loewenstein have replied, each in their own way, that versions of the Direct Argument do not pose even a prima facie threat to compatibilism. Their grounds were that versions of the Direct Argument all use (some version of) the “Transfer NR” inference rule in a dialectically problematic way. I rebut these replies here. By so doing, I hope to set the Direct Argument debate on a more fruitful path.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1791-1817
Number of pages27
JournalSynthese
Volume199
Issue number1-2
DOIs
StatePublished - 16 Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Compatibilism
  • Determinism
  • Dialectics
  • Direct argument
  • Free will

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