Philosophy colloquium: Andrei Buckareff

Title: Direct Manipulation Undermines Intentional Agency (Not Just Free Agency)

By Andrei Buckareff (Philosophy/ Cognitive Science, Marist College)

Date: Thursday, April 18, 2024

Time: 1530-1700 

Room: H232

Abstract:  An account of what sort of causal integration is necessary for an agent to exercise agency is offered in support of a soft-line response to Derk Pereboom’s four-case argument against source-compatibilism. I argue that, in cases of manipulation, the manipulative activity affects the identity of the causal process of which it is a part. Specifically, I argue that causal processes involving direct manipulation fail to count as exercises of intentional agency because they involve heteromesial causal deviance. In contrast, standard deterministic causal processes do not involve heteromesial causal deviance and are agency-preserving. The upshot is that there is a relevant difference between a causal process involving direct manipulation by another agent and a deterministic causal process that involves no such intervention. If this is right, then Pereboom’s four-case argument does not pose a threat to source-compatibilist theories of free will and moral responsibility.

About the speaker: Andrei A. Buckareff is Professor of Philosophy and Co-Director of the Cognitive Science program at Marist College. His work focuses on the metaphysics, the philosophy of mind and action, and the philosophy of religion. His work has appeared in such journals as Grazer Philosophiche Studien, Philosophical Studies, Synthese, Religious Studies, and Res Philosophica. In 2022 he published Pantheism with Cambridge University Press.





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