Compatibilism & desert: Critical comments on four views on free will

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23 Scopus citations


In this paper I offer from a source compatibilist's perspective a critical discussion of Four Views on Free Will by John Martin Fischer, Robert Kane, Derk Pereboom, and Manuel Vargas. Sharing Fischer's semi-compatibilist view, I propose modifications to his arguments while resisting his coauthors' objections. I argue against Kane that he should give up the requirement that a free and morally responsible agent be able to do otherwise (in relevant cases). I argue against Pereboom that his famed manipulation argument be resisted by contending that the agents in it are free and responsible. And I also argue against Vargas by challenging the sense in which his revisionist thesis differs from a position like Fischer's and mine. I close by reflecting on the nature of desert. All seem to assume it is central to the debate, but what is it?

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2009


  • Compatibilism
  • Determinism
  • Fischer
  • Free will
  • Kane
  • Manipulation
  • Moral responsibility
  • PAP
  • Pereboom
  • Revisionism
  • Source compatibilism desert
  • Vargas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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