When reading the careful, ingenious and illuminating essays contained in this collection, you cannot help but be struck by John Fischer’s intellectual honesty. More than twenty years ago, he described the broad outlines of his now very famous positions. But his accounts of moral responsibility, of the nature of control, of the value of morally responsible action and of the relations of these things to determinism, have been refined through serious and careful engagement with the many discussions and arguments that have been offered in response to his views. He doesn’t let published criticisms or proposed refinements fall through the cracks. Instead, he picks them up. He takes the arguments of others tremendously seriously, gives them their due, charitably characterizes what insights are contained in them, and determines with precision, and expresses with great clarity, their impact on his own positions. Fischer is at his best, perhaps, when he untangles argumentative complexity and describes what positions remain available once what is right about his own or other people’s arguments is separated from what is not. I am going to focus here on one line of argument, although, as we’ll see, it intersects with others. What this means is that I am neglecting a lot of great value that is contained between the covers of My Way . But I hope to be giving Fischer the same compliment that he pays to others by engaging with the details of one of his argumentative lines.
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