A Hard-line Reply to Pereboom's Four-Case Manipulation Argument

Recently there has been a heightened interest in the free will debate about the soundness of the incompatibilist’s Manipulation Argument. The argument has a respectable history. Impressive contemporary versions of it can be found in Robert Kane’s work (1996), as well as Richard Taylor’s (1974). The most recent is Derk Pereboom’s provocative version (2001, pp.110-17). In what follows, I will argue that Pereboom’s argument is not adequate to unseat the compatibilist. My reply will differ from other recent attempts in that I will adopt (as explained below) a hard-line reply. Others adopt a soft-line reply (e.g., Fischer, 2004). I believe a soft-line reply to Pereboom is ultimately ineffective.

Published in: Philosophy and Phenomenological Research
2008 LXXVII Pages 142-159