Crítica, Revista Hispanoamericana de Filosofía, Volume 35, number 104, agosto 2003
Blockage Cases: No Case against PAP
[Casos de bloqueo: Ningún riesgo para el PPA]
Carlos J. Moya Espí
Facultad de Filosofía y Ciencias de la Educación
Universidad de Valencia

Carlos.Moya@uv.es

Abstract: According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP), an agent is morally responsible for something she has done only if she could have done otherwise. Harry Frankfurt held that PAP was false on the basis of examples ("Frankfurt cases") in which a counterfactual, and unactivated, device ensures that the agent will decide and do what she actually decides and does on her own, if she shows some sign that she is going to decide and do something else. Problems with these cases have led some thinkers to design examples in which the counterfactual factor is replaced by a device that actually blocks alternative possibilities. I argue that, even if these cases did not illicitly assume determinism, they are not successful against PAP anyway, for they violate a plausible condition on moral responsibility that Fischer has called "reasons-responsiveness".
Keywords: alternative possibilities, moral responsibility, reasons, decision

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