Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility by Harry Frankfurt

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In “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility”, Harry Frankfurt attempts to falsify the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. The Principle of Alternate Possibilities is the principle where a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise. A person would be morally responsible for their own actions if done by themselves. If someone else had forced that person to do the action, then the person doing the action is not morally responsible. Frankfurt does not believe this to be true and that the person doing the action is morally responsible. Frankfurt’s objections towards the Principle of Alternate Possibilities shows the refutation of natural intuition and places moral responsibility upon those …show more content…
Why does the addition of Black bring the exclusion of moral responsibility onto Jones’ part? What Frankfurt is saying accepting of the consequence of not following Black’s orders is still an alternate possibility. Adding Black into the equation doesn’t remove the moral responsibility on Jones.

Nevertheless, with all inquiries, there will be objections to findings. There are objections to how Frankfurt is approaching the Principle of Alternate Possibilities. David Copp wrote an essay, “Defending the Principle of Alternate Possibilities: Blameworthiness and Moral Responsibility,” where he states that Frankfurt cases challenge our intuition and common sense. He believes that the Principle of Alternate Possibilities is based on this one-sentence foundation: “’ought’ implies ‘can’”. What that means is that having the ability to do something grants moral responsibility. So in the third case, moral responsibility lies on the fact of his ability to do his own will. If Jones’ original action was going to be action A, then Black was Jones’ obstacle in expressing his true will. It does not matter if he wanted to do action A, Black took away Jones’ will and replaced it with his command. Even though Jones’ will and Black’s command are the same, Jones’ inability to express his own individual will takes away the moral responsibility of his action.

While many left objections for Frankfurt, there were some that attempt

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