Selective hard compatibilism

In J. Campbell, M. O'Rourke & H. Silverstein (eds.), Action, Ethics and Responsibility: Topics in Contemporary Philosophy, Vol. 7. MIT Press. pp. 149-73 (2010)
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Abstract

.... The strategy I have defended involves drawing a distinction between those who can and cannot legitimately hold an agent responsible in circumstances when the agent is being covertly controlled (e.g. through implantation processes). What is intuitively unacceptable, I maintain, is that an agent should be held responsible or subject to reactive attitudes that come from another agent who is covertly controlling or manipulating him. This places some limits on who is entitled to take up the participant stance in relation to agents who are rational self-controllers but nevertheless subject to covert control.26 In this way, what is compromised by conditions of covert control is not the responsibility of the agent as such. It is, rather, the participant stance of those other agents who covertly control him. Clearly it is possible to establish these specific limits on who can hold these agents responsible without denying that the agents themselves remain free and responsible. When we take this approach we will find that we are no longer faced with an unattractive choice between simply “biting the bullet” or having to “spit it out”. All we need to do is chew carefully, until there is nothing left that we find too hard to swallow.

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