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Oxford Studies in Agency and ResponsibilityVolume 3$
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David Shoemaker

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198744832

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744832.001.0001

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Responsibility and the Actual Sequence

Responsibility and the Actual Sequence

Chapter:
(p.120) 6 Responsibility and the Actual Sequence
Source:
Oxford Studies in Agency and Responsibility
Author(s):

John Martin Fischer

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198744832.003.0007

The Frankfurt cases motivate the notion that we should adopt an “actual-sequence” approach to moral responsibility. On this sort of view, moral responsibility does not require freedom to do otherwise; rather, it is a function of (possibly modal) characteristics of the actual sequence leading to the behavior in question. This chapter addresses a significant challenge to the actual-sequence approach; the challenge has it that we cannot extrapolate from classical Frankfurt-style cases to a conclusion about the compatibility of causal determinism and moral responsibility, since the Frankfurt-style cases feature “counterfactual interveners,” whereas causal determination is a property of the way the actual sequence unfolds.

Keywords:   counterfactual interveners, Frankfurt-style cases, Harry Frankfurt, John Locke, Principle of Alternative Possibilities, moral responsibility, actual-sequence approach

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