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Deep ControlEssays on Free Will and Value$
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John Martin Fischer

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199742981

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199742981.001.0001

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Blame and Avoidability

Blame and Avoidability

A Reply to Otsuka

(p.76) 5 Blame and Avoidability
Deep Control

Neal A. Tognazzini

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a critical analysis of Michael Otsuka's “Principle of Avoidable Blame” (PAB). Otsuka argues that Frankfurt-type examples are indeed counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, they do not impugn PAB. The PAB states that one is blameworthy for performing an act of a given type only if one could instead have behaved in a manner for which one would have been entirely blameless. The chapter also discusses the key points of Otsuka's argument, especially the claim that PAB cannot be refuted by Harry Frankfurt's cases. It concludes that adding an alternative possibility, in which an agent “accidentally” avoids blame, cannot explain the agent's measure of blameworthiness.

Keywords:   Michael Otsuka, Principle of Avoidable Blame, Principle of Alternative Possibilities, Harry Frankfurt, blameworthiness

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