Deep Control: Essays on Free Will and Value

Paperback | December 1, 2013

byJohn Martin Fischer

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In this collection of essays - a follow up to My Way and Our Stories - John Martin Fischer defends the contention that moral responsibility is associated with "deep control". Fischer defines deep control as the middle ground between two untenable extreme positions: "superficial control" and"total control". Our freedom consists of the power to add to the given past, holding fixed the laws of nature, and therefore, Fischer contends, we must be able to interpret our actions as extensions of a line that represents the actual past. In "connecting the dots", we engage in a distinctive sort ofself-expression. In the first group of essays in this volume, Fischer argues that we do not need genuine access to alterative possibilities in order to be morally responsible. Thus, the line need not branch off at crucial points (where the branches represent genuine metaphysical possibilities). In the remaining essays in the collection he demonstrates that deep control is the freedom condition on moral responsibility. In so arguing, Fischer contends that total control is too much to ask - it is a form of "metaphysical megalomania". So we do not need to "trace back" all the way to thebeginning of the line (or even farther) in seeking the relevant kind of freedom or control. Additionally, he contends that various kinds of "superficial control" - such as versions of "conditional freedom" and "judgment-sensitivity" are too shallow; they don't trace back far enough along the line.In short, Fischer argues that, in seeking the freedom that grounds moral responsibility, we need to carve out a middle ground between superficiality and excessive penetration. Deep Control is the "middle way". Fischer presents a new argument that deep control is compatible not just with causal determinism, but also causal indeterminism. He thus tackles the luck problem and shows that the solution to this problem is parallel in important ways to the considerations in favor of the compatibility of causaldeterminism and moral responsibility.

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In this collection of essays - a follow up to My Way and Our Stories - John Martin Fischer defends the contention that moral responsibility is associated with "deep control". Fischer defines deep control as the middle ground between two untenable extreme positions: "superficial control" and"total control". Our freedom consists of the p...

John Martin Fischer received his BA and MA in philosophy from Stanford University, and his PhD in philosophy from Cornell. He has taught at Yale, UCLA, and Santa Clara University. He is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, where he holds a UC President's Chair.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.68 inPublished:December 1, 2013Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199354138

ISBN - 13:9780199354139

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Deep Control: The Middle WayPart One: An Actual-Sequence Approach to Moral Responsibility2. The Frankfurt Cases: The Moral of the Stories3. Freedom, Foreknowledge, and Frankfurt: A Reply to Vihvelin4. The Importance of Frankfurt-Style Argument5. Blame and Avoidability: a Reply to Otsuka (with Neal A. Tognazzini)6. Indeterminism and Control: An Approach to the Problem of LuckPart Two: The Middle Path: Guidance Control7. The Direct Argument: You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello8. Conditional Freedom and the Normative Approach to Moral Responsibility9. Judgment-Sensitivity and the Value of Freedom10. Sourcehood: Playing the Cards that Are Dealt You11. Guidance Control12. The Triumph of Tracing (with Neal A. Tognazzini)