An Argument against the Methodology of the Manipulation Argument

Shohei Takasaki [PDF]

Article info.
RAP-0002 – Research article
DOI: https://doi.org/10.18494/SAM.RAP.2021.0002
Received May 31, 2020
Accepted February 8, 2021
Online published March 26, 2021

Abstract

This paper critically examines one of the most influential arguments against compatibilism—“the Manipulation Argument” (henceforth MA), which has been vigorously defended by R. Kane (1996), D. Pereboom (2001, 2014), and A. Mele (2006). MA claims that agents in a deterministic world are, with respect to moral responsibility, relevantly similar to agents whose actions, decisions, or processes of acquiring their character were covertly manipulated by other agents. It will be argued that MA fails to refute compatibilism. The argument, if it succeeds, is important because it can apply to any MA; that is, the argument does not depend on the specific description of manipulation cases or on specific ways of supporting each premise of MA.

Keywords

free will, moral responsibility, manipulation argument, source incompatibilism,
methodology

References

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