Consider cases where your decision is counterfactually dependent on some factor X that is not a part of your reasons and is outside of your (present or past) rational control. The kind of dependence that interests me is this:
- In the presence of X, you decided on A, but had X been absent, you would have decided on B on the basis of the same set of reasons.
As far as rationality is concerned, these are cases of randomness. It doesn't matter whether X's influence is deterministic or not: the cases are random vis-à-vis reason.
In these cases, the best contrastive explanation of your decision is in terms of your reasons and X. And the counterfactual dependence on X, which is outside of your control, puts your freedom into question.
I think many cases of conflicted decisions have the following property:
- If determinism is true, then the case involves such counterfactual dependence on a factor outside of one's reasons and rational control.
- Some of these cases are also cases of responsibility.
- Responsibility is compatible with such counterfactual dependence
- Determinism is false.
I think the right conclusion to draw is (4). I think the counterfactual dependence here does indeed remove freedom. But I do not think the mere absence of a determiner like X is enough for freedom. Something needs to be put in the place of X. What? The agent! The problem with X is that it usurps the place of the agent. Thus I am inclined to think that freedom requires agent causation. I didn't see this until now.