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One way to defend the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) against Frankfurt-style cases is to challenge the claim that agents in these scenarios are genuinely morally responsible for what they do. Alternatively, one can grant that agents are morally responsible for what they do in these cases but resist the idea that they could not have done otherwise. This latter strategy is known as the flicker defense of PAP. In an argument he calls the W-Defense, David Widerker adopts the former approach. I argue that, while Widerker's argument does a poor job showing that these agents are not morally responsible for what they do, it does a very good job highlighting the alternative possibilities that remain open to agents in these cases and illustrating their moral significance (or robustness). In doing so, my aim is to co-opt Widerker's argument to bolster the most promising versions of the flicker defense.


This article was originally published in Philosophical Issues in 2023.

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