Freedom, coercion and discursive control

In Michael Smith, Robert Goodin & Geoffrey Geoffrey (eds.), Common Minds. Oxford. 104 (2007)
Abstract
If moral and political philosophy is to be of any use, it had better be concerned with real people. The focus need not be exclusively on people as they are; but it should surely not extend beyond how they would be under laws as they might be. It is one of the strengths of Philip Pettit’s work that it is concerned with real people and the ways that they think: with the commonplace mind. In this paper I examine Pettit’s recent work on free will.2 Much of my concern will be to see how his contentions fit with empirical findings about human psychology. Pettit is a compatibilist about free will: he holds that it is compatible with determinism. But he finds fault with existing compatibilist accounts, and then proposes his own amendment. My aim is to challenge his grounds for finding fault; and then to raise some questions about his own positive account.
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