chapter  5
10 Pages

The Difference a New Conception of Action Makes

I have been insisting throughout that freedom is not the antithesis of determinism and conversely that determinism is not the antithesis of freedom. I have been claiming that the important features of freedom in every context, whether in the conduct of everyday practical life or in more reflective settings when we take more care over how we shall proceed, are completely independent of determinism, and moreover must be invoked in social science. So the two-determinism and freedom-are compatible. This chapter will draw the spotlight on this point. Moreover it will examine the question of the relationship between being an agent and being free: I will argue that you can have the first (an agent) without having the second (a free person). Any account of free will that renders all human agents free by the definition of the term ‘agent’ is not a true account of freedom.