Control and Abilities to do Otherwise

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In this paper, I shall explore the relationship between the control required for action and the control required for moral responsibility. I shall argue that there is an incongruity between Frankfurt’s account of guidance control presented in his theory of action and his commitment to the claim that alternative possibilities are not required for moral responsibility. This inconsistency centres around the role of abilities to do otherwise in our analyses of action and moral responsibility. After outlining the problem for Frankfurt, I shall then motivate one way of resolving this tension. This solution provides a unified role for abilities to do otherwise in our analyses of control.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1210-1230
Number of pages21
Issue number9
Early online date30 Mar 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • Control
  • abilities to do otherwise
  • action
  • moral responsibility


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