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David J. Chalmers

Abstract

I argue that virtual reality is a sort of genuine reality. In particular, I argue for virtual digitalism, on which virtual objects are real digital objects, and against virtual fictionalism, on which virtual objects are fictional objects. I also argue that perception in virtual reality need not be illusory, and that life in virtual worlds can have roughly the same sort of value as life in non-virtual worlds.

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Takuya Niikawa

Abstract

In defence of naïve realism, Fish has advocated an eliminativist view of hallucination, according to which hallucinations lack visual phenomenology. Logue, and Dokic and Martin, respectively, have developed the eliminativist view in different manners. Logue claims that hallucination is a non-phenomenal, perceptual representational state. Dokic and Martin maintain that hallucinations consist in the confusion of monitoring mechanisms, which generates an affective feeling in the hallucinating subject. This paper aims to critically examine these views of hallucination. By doing so, I shall point out what theoretical requirements are imposed on naïve realists who characterize hallucinations as non-visual-sensory phenomena.

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Florian L. Wüstholz

Abstract

De se beliefs typically pose a problem for propositional theories of content. The Property Theory of content tries to overcome the problem of de se beliefs by taking properties to be the objects of our beliefs. I argue that the concept of self-ascription plays a crucial role in the Property Theory while being virtually unexplained. I then offer different possibilities of illuminating that concept and argue that the most common ones are either circular, question-begging, or epistemically problematic. Finally, I argue that only a primitive understanding of self-ascription is viable. Self-ascription is the relation that subjects stand in with respect to the properties that they believe themselves to have. As such, self-ascription has to be primitive if it is supposed to do justice to the characteristic features of de se beliefs.

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Sergi Oms

Abstract

Jamie Tappenden was one of the first authors to entertain the possibility of a common treatment for the Liar and the Sorites paradoxes. In order to deal with these two paradoxes he proposed using the Strong Kleene semantic scheme. This strategy left unexplained our tendency to regard as true certain sentences which, according to this semantic scheme, should lack truth value. Tappenden tried to solve this problem by using a new speech act, articulation. Unlike assertion, which implies truth, articulation only implies non-falsity. In this paper I argue that Tappenden’s strategy cannot be successfully applied to truth and the Liar.

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Nadine Elzein and Tuomas K. Pernu

Abstract

Supervenient libertarianism maintains that indeterminism may exist at a supervening agency level, consistent with determinism at a subvening physical level. It seems as if this approach has the potential to break the longstanding deadlock in the free will debate, since it concedes to the traditional incompatibilist that agents can only do otherwise if they can do so in their actual circumstances, holding the past and the laws constant, while nonetheless arguing that this ability is compatible with physical determinism. However, we argue that supervenient libertarianism faces some serious problems, and that it fails to break us free from this deadlock within the free will debate.

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Matthew J. Hart

Abstract

The advent of Frankfurt-style counterexamples in the early 1970s posed a problem not merely for incompatibilists, but for compatibilists also. At that time compatibilists too were concerned to hold that the presence of alternative possibilities was necessary for moral responsibility. Such a classical compatibilism, I argue in this paper, should not have been left behind. I propose that we can use a Kratzer-style semantics of ‘can’ to model ‘could have done otherwise’ statements in such a way that the truth of such expressions is both (i) evidently consistent with determinism, and (ii) clearly such that Frankfurt-style counterexamples do not count as cases where the agent could not have done otherwise.

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Taylor W. Cyr

Abstract

Recently, John Maier has developed a unified account of various agentive modalities (such as general abilities, potentialities, and skills). According to him, however, adopting the account provides an alternative framework for thinking about free will and moral responsibility, one that reveals an unacceptable instability in semicompatibilism (the view that the freedom required for moral responsibility is compatible with determinism even if the freedom to do otherwise is not). In this paper, I argue that Maier is mistaken about the implications of his account and sketch a semicompatibilist proposal that can, without countenancing any instability, accept Maier’s unified account of the agentive modalities.

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Carlos J. Moya

Abstract

In her recent book Causation and Free Will, Carolina Sartorio develops a distinctive version of an actual-sequence account of free will, according to which, when agents choose and act freely, their freedom is exclusively grounded in, and supervenes on, the actual causal history of such choices or actions. Against this proposal, I argue for an alternative- possibilities account, according to which agents’ freedom is partly grounded in their ability to choose or act otherwise. Actual-sequence accounts of freedom (and moral responsibility) are motivated by a reflection on so-called Frankfurt cases. Instead, other cases, such as two pairs of examples originally designed by van Inwagen, threaten actual-sequence accounts, including Sartorio’s. On the basis of her (rather complex) view of causation, Sartorio contends, however, that the two members of each pair have different causal histories, so that her view is not undermined by those cases after all. I discuss these test cases further and defend my alternative-possibilities account of freedom.

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Pablo Rychter

Abstract

In this introductory study I discuss the notion of alternative possibilities and its relation to contemporary debates on free will and moral responsibility. I focus on two issues: whether Frankfurt-style cases refute the principle of alternative possibilities, and whether alternative possibilities are relevant to grounding free will and moral responsibility. With respect to the first issue, I consider three objections to Frankfurt-syle cases: the flicker strategy, the dilemma defense, and the objection from new dispositionalism. With respect to the second issue, I consider the debate between Alternative Possibilities views and Actual Sequence views, as framed by Carolina Sartorio in her Causation and Free Will. I then explain how these two issues are relevant to the papers included in this volume.

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Benjamin Matheson

Abstract

Conventional wisdom suggests that the power to do otherwise is necessary for being morally responsible. While much of the literature on alternative possibilities has focused on Frankfurt’s argument against this claim, I instead focus on one of Dennett’s (1984) arguments against it. This argument appeals to cases of volitional necessity rather than cases featuring counterfactual interveners. van Inwagen (1989) and Kane (1996) appeal to the notion of ‘character setting’ to argue that these cases do not show that the power to do otherwise is unnecessary for moral responsibility. In this paper, I argue that their character setting response is unsuccessful.