The sense of agency does not evidence regulative control

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.4013/fsu.2021.221.08

Abstract

Libertarians assume that the sense of agency supports their belief in the agent’s ability to have done otherwise; however, they do not present arguments in favor of their assumption beyond introspection. Although agents may hold this belief, the mechanisms that give rise to the sense of agency—the comparator model and the perception of the relation between action and events in the environment—do not provide reasons to support it. Nonetheless, these mechanisms can help explain why agents hold the belief in the first place, and the investigation makes clear that the workings of the mechanisms that give rise to the sense of agency are compatible with determinism. Here, I will defend that a compatibilist explanation can be given as to why the sense of agency may seem to support libertarian beliefs. Hence, the sense of agency does not support the libertarian position in the free will debate; it is merely the pre-reflective experience of action as self-caused, and it is associated with control mechanisms.

Keywords: Sense of agency, Regulative control, Incompatibilism, Comparator model, Guidance control.

Author Biography

Beatriz Sorrentino Marques, Professora do Deparatamento de Filosofia da Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso.

Professora do Departamento de Filosofia da Universidade Federal de Mato Grosso.

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Published

2021-03-15

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