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Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life$
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Derk Pereboom

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685516

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685516.001.0001

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A Manipulation Argument against Compatibilism

A Manipulation Argument against Compatibilism

(p.71) 4 A Manipulation Argument against Compatibilism
Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life

Derk Pereboom

Oxford University Press

The idea that motivates a manipulation argument against compatibilism is that an action’s production by a deterministic process, even when the agent satisfies the conditions on moral responsibility specified by compatibilists, presents no less of a challenge to basic-desert responsibility than does deterministic manipulation by other agents. The chapter’s multiple-case manipulation argument sets out several such examples, the first of which features the most radical manipulation consistent with the compatibilist conditions. The subsequent cases are progressively more like a final example, which the compatibilist might envision to be realistic, in which the action is causally determined in a natural way. A challenge for the compatibilist is to point out a principled difference between any two adjacent cases that would show why the agent might be responsible in the later but not in the earlier one. This chapter presents an updated version of the argument and responses to objections raised against it.

Keywords:   compatibilism, manipulation argument, basic desert, higher-order desire, reasons-responsiveness, bypassing, hard-line reply, soft-line reply

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