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Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”

It is an outstanding article by Harry Frankfurt called ‘Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility’ that makes modern philosophers think over the moral responsibilities, free will, and if they need alternative possibilities. This is exactly the case study Frankfurt addresses in his work. He depicts some kind of scenario in which the two people interact, though one of them does not know about the probable influence of another. Let’s call the first person Jones – is an average voter who has to choose between the candidates for president. So, the chip has been installed in her brain by the other person to control her mental state. Once she is facing the choice to vote, she chooses Bush, whereas the second protagonist would have switched her desire to vote for Bush if she did not want to do so. But since she makes the choice on her own it means that she does not need alternate possibilities to carry out moral responsibility.

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Another work under consideration is chapters 2-4 named ‘Persons and Bodies’ by Richard Taylor. He argues on the topic of the body and the soul to be totally different objects. He denotes that the feelings of pain that the body experiences are the sets of mind and soles, though right away he contradicts that ‘a toothache or a toe ache is a state of mind, or a condition of the soul, which manifestly is not’. (Taylor, 36) What he argues is that the patient is far from considering the toe ache to be a matter of the soul. He/she feels clear that his pain is located in his toe. Either it is a result of the metaphysics being a completely controversial subject, or the issue addresses is hard to be proved, still, Taylor’s book remains to be the most interesting one of r students having an introduction into metaphysics.

Harry Frankfurt’s main thesis idea is that a person is able to feel responsibility only in case he/she has many ways of solving a certain life circumstance, which he successfully vanishes afterward. The thesis idea is being elaborated on via the example of a woman having a device in her brain To be misled in case of need. So, I totally agree with Harry Frankfurt because making a choice, to my mind, does not need extra alternative ways out. A person is responsibly approaching any kind of decision he/she is about to make. Besides, Frankfurt claims: ‘The example is also flexible enough for the elimination of Black altogether’ (Perry, p. 429). From my point of view, Harry Frankfurt carried out a wonderful study case since there are numerous debates on the person’s responsibility ability. Moreover, the case study made could have been a nice solving of social problems within multiple sues. As I see it an individual does not have to have alternate possibilities to feel serious about the problem. Moreover, it seems like the thesis statement addresses a problem of desire or ability to blame or be blamed reasonably.

The only question about Frankfurt’s study case is that it somehow reminds the determinism. Namely, determinism is about the connection between the sign made by the brain of Jones and the decision. However, if the determinism factor is false then it is evident that Jones could act otherwise.

Works Cited

Perry, John., Bratman, Michael., et al. Introduction to Philosophy: Classical and Contemporary Readings. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009. Print.

Taylor, Richard. Metaphysics. New Jersey: Prentice Hall, 1991. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 27). Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 27). Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”. https://studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/

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"Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”." StudyCorgi, 27 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/.


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StudyCorgi. "Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”." December 27, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/frankfurts-alternate-possibilities-and-moral-responsibility-and-taylors-persons-and-bodies/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Frankfurt’s “Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility” and Taylor’s “Persons and Bodies”'. 27 December.

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