Abstract for Helen Beebee

Sourcehood and Alternative Possibilities

Thanks at least in part to dissatisfaction with existing responses to Frankfurt’s famous attempt to refute the Principle of Alternate Possibilities, ‘source’ incompatibilism is becoming increasingly popular: the view that determinism precludes free will not through depriving agents of alternative courses of action (as ‘leeway’ incompatibilists maintain) but through preventing them from being the ultimate sources of their actions. Dialectically, the rush to endorse source incompatibilism strikes me as a bad move: source incompatibilism concedes a lot of ground to the compatibilist, and depends for its motivation on principles that are easily deniable. I offer the incompatibilist a way out of Frankfurt’s problem that keeps the need for alternative possibilities and therefore blocks any Frankfurt-inspired reason for endorsing source rather than leeway incompatibilism.