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Manipulation and Guidance Control: A Reply to Long

Manipulation and Guidance Control: A Reply to Long

(p.175) 9 Manipulation and Guidance Control: A Reply to Long
Action, Ethics, and Responsibility
John Martin Fischer
The MIT Press

This chapter presents the concept of guidance control, the freedom-relevant condition necessary and sufficient for moral responsibility, as part of an overall framework for moral responsibility. Guidance control is composed of two main components, namely, mechanism ownership and moderate reasons-responsiveness. The presence of a subjective component is the key feature of this approach to moral responsibility; an agent acquires control by taking control, and he can only do so by taking responsibility, thereby defining responsibility in terms of the agent’s beliefs. Using this approach, moral responsibility becomes compatible with causal determinism, which is consistent with the traditional compatibilist view that not all causal chains are equally threatening to freedom. The conventional challenge for the compatibilist is to distinguish those deterministic causal chains that threaten or eliminate freedom from those which do not, and that is also the main goal of this chapter.

Keywords:   guidance control, moral responsibility, mechanism ownership, moderate reasons-responsiveness, causal determinism, compatibilist view

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