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On the Direct Argument for the Incompatibility of Determinism and Moral Responsibility

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The Direct Argument for the incompatibility of determinism and moral responsibility allegedly circumvents any appeal to the principle of alternate possibilities—persons are morally responsible for having done something only if they could have avoided doing it—to secure this species of incompatibilism. In this paper, having outlined Peter van Inwagen's elegant version of the Direct Argument, I critically discuss Michael McKenna's recent responses to the argument. I then cast doubt on the argument by constructing counterexamples to a rule of inference that it invokes.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: March 1, 2010

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