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Global Control and Freedom

Bernard Berofsky
Philosophical Studies: An International Journal for Philosophy in the Analytic Tradition
Vol. 131, No. 2 (Nov., 2006), pp. 419-445
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/25471814
Page Count: 27
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Global Control and Freedom
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Abstract

Several prominent incompatibilists, e.g., Robert Kane and Derk Pereboom, have advanced an analogical argument in which it is claimed that a deterministic world is essentially the same as a world governed by a global controller. Since the latter world is obviously one lacking in an important kind of freedom, so must any deterministic world. The argument is challenged whether it is designed to show that determinism precludes freedom as power or freedom as self-origination. Contrary to the claims of its adherents, the global controller nullifies freedom because she is an agent, whereas natural forces are at work in conventional deterministic worlds. Other key differences that undermine the analogy are identified. It is also shown that the argument begs the question against the classical compatibilist, who believes that determinism does not preclude alternative possibilities.

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