What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree?

Incompatibilists and compatibilists (mostly) agree that there is a strong intuition that a manipulated agent, i.e., an agent who is the victim of methods such as indoctrination or brainwashing, is unfree. They differ however on why exactly this intuition arises. Incompatibilists claim our intuitions in these cases are sensitive to the manipulated agent’s lack of ultimate control over her actions, while many compatibilists argue that our intuitions respond to damage inflicted by manipulation on the agent’s psychological and volitional capacities. Much hangs on this issue because manipulation-based arguments are among the most important for defending incompatibilist views of free will. In this paper, I investigate this issue from a experimental perspective, using a set of statistical methods well suited for identifying the features of hypothetical cases people’s intuitions are responding to. Results strongly support the compatibilist view—subjects’ tendency to judge that a manipulated agent is unfree was found to depend on their judgments that the agent suffers impairments to certain psychological/volitional capacities that compatibilists say are the basis for free will. I discuss the significance of these results for the use of manipulation cases in the philosophical debate about free will
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1933-1592.2011.00527.x
 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 Chandra Sekhar Sripada, What Makes a Manipulated Agent Unfree?
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

View all 29 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
Dylan Murray & Eddy Nahmias (2014). Explaining Away Incompatibilist Intuitions. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):434-467.

View all 11 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Andrew C. Khoury (2014). Manipulation and Mitigation. Philosophical Studies 168 (1):283-294.
Gary Watson (1975). Free Agency. Journal of Philosophy 72 (April):205-20.
Matthew Talbert (2009). Implanted Desires, Self-Formation and Blame. Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy 3 (2):1-18.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

321 ( #2,279 of 1,725,873 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

65 ( #17,969 of 1,725,873 )

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.