Alternative Possibilities and Causal Overdetermination

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Abstract

This paper argues against dismissing the Principle of Alternative Possibilities merely on the ground of so-called Frankfurt-style cases. Its main claims are that the interpretation of such cases depends on which substantive theory of responsibility one endorses and that Frankfurt-style cases all involve some form of causal overdetermination which can be interpreted either as being compatible with the potentially manipulated agent’s ability to act otherwise or as a responsibility undermining constraint. The paper also argues that the possibility of such scenarios can support the truth of classical compatibilism as much as the truth of semicompatibilism.

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International Journal of Philosophy

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