Philosophical Studies

, Volume 150, Issue 3, pp 405–424 | Cite as

The fate of the direct argument and the case for incompatibilism

  • Seth Shabo


In this paper, I distinguish causal from logical versions of the direct argument for incompatibilism. I argue that, contrary to appearances, causal versions are better equipped to withstand an important recent challenge to the direct-argument strategy. The challenge involves arguing that support for the argument’s pivotal inference principle falls short just when it is needed most, namely when a deterministic series runs through an agent’s unimpaired deliberations. I then argue that, while there are limits to what causal versions can accomplish, they can be used to buttress the ultimacy argument, another important argument for incompatibilism.


Incompatibilism Direct argument Determinism Moral responsibility Transfer principle Ultimate responsibility Michael McKenna 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Philosophy DepartmentFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

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