Philosophical Studies

, Volume 131, Issue 2, pp 419–445 | Cite as

Global Control and Freedom

  • Bernard Berofsky


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.


Moral Responsibility Alternative Possibility Causal Process Global Control Control Capacity 
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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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