Resisting Todd's moral-standing zygote argument

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2 Scopus citations


Patrick Todd has recently fashioned a novel argument for incompatibilism, the Moral-Standing Zygote Argument. Todd considers much-discussed cases in which a manipulator causes an agent in a deterministic scenario to act morally wrongly from compatibilist-friendly conditions for freedom and moral responsibility. The manipulator, Todd contends, does not have the standing to blame the manipulated agent, and the best explanation for this is that incompatibilism is true. This is why the manipulated agent is not blameworthy. In this paper, I counter Todd on behalf of the compatibilist, arguing that the best explanation for the manipulator's lack of moral standing to blame is due to the manipulator's intending to cause the manipulated agent to do wrong.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-678
Number of pages22
JournalPhilosophical Quarterly
Issue number273
StatePublished - Oct 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Philosophy


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