Who's in control here?

Philosophy 51 (October):421-430 (1976)
The question arises from recent arguments, including one by G. E. M. Anscombe, which hold that a belief in one's ability to choose one's actions is incompatible with a causal account of the world. For, if one's arguments deny either choice or causal sequences, how can one account for human control of actions? If to control one's actions means to work to cause some chosen end, and if either point of the argument were correct, how could anyone ever control one's actions at all? Yet we must be able to control actions if we are to seek out and select from evidence or develop any kind of conceptual scheme. I want to develop this necessity-of-control notion to show that arguments such as those advanced by Miss Anscombe are incoherent and to show that we must retain our notion of choice while giving a causal account of the world. I will argue that deterministic sequences and the notions of choice and control go together: in order for us to have a tenable explanation of the world we must be able to talk about choice and control and we must identify and use predictable deterministic sequences in our acting and choosing. I shall argue that we can retain both causal explanation and choice only by employing two different conceptions of causal agency: merely physical agency and the voluntary agency of embodied actors
Keywords Cause  Choice  Compatibilism  Determinism  Free Will  Indeterminism  Metaphysics  Anscombe, G
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1017/S0031819100018787
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 16,667
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

11 ( #221,581 of 1,727,148 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #354,178 of 1,727,148 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.