Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Philosophical Review: July 2010, Vol. 119, No. 3

Academic journal article The Review of Metaphysics

The Philosophical Review: July 2010, Vol. 119, No. 3

Article excerpt

Compatibilism about Coincidence, THOMAS SATTIG

It seems to be a platitude of common sense that distinct ordinary objects cannot coincide, that they cannot fit into the same place or be composed of the same parts at the same time. The paradoxes of coincidence are instances of a breakdown of this platitude in light of counterexamples that are licensed by innocuous assumptions about particular kinds of ordinary object. Since both the anticoincidence principle and the assumptions driving the counter-examples flow from the folk conception of ordinary objects, the paradoxes threaten this conception with inconsistency. Typical approaches to the paradoxes reject the anticoincidence principle or some portion of the assumptions driving the counterexamples, thereby partially revising our common conception of the world around us. This essay offers a compatibilist solution to the paradoxes that sustains the folk conception of ordinary objects in its entirety. According to this solution, the various cases of distinct coincidents do not clash with the anticoincidence principle since the cases and the principle manifest different yet compatible perspectives on the world.

The Frankfurt Cases: The Moral of the Stories, JOHN MARTIN FISCHER

The Frankfurt cases have been thought by some philosophers to show that moral responsibility does not require genuine metaphysical access to alternative possibilities. However, various philosophers have rejected this putative "lesson" of the cases, and they have put forward a powerful "Dilemma Defense." In the last decade or so, many philosophers have been persuaded by the Dilemma Defense that the Frankfurt cases do not show what Frankfurt (and others) thought they show. This essay presents a template for a general strategy of response to the Dilemma Defense. It thus seeks to provide further support for the author's view that the Frankfurt cases help to establish that moral responsibility does not require alternative possibilities. …

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