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‘Consider Lucifer: The Problem of Robust Control’ colloquium, February 6

Daniel Breyer

Daniel Breyer

Professor Daniel Breyer will deliver a speech, “Consider Lucifer:  The Problem of Robust Control,” at 4 p.m. Friday, February 6, in 401A Stevenson Hall.

Speech description from Breyer

Lucifer fell, but Gabriel did not. What makes them responsible for their actions? Why is one the loathsome devil and the other a messenger of God? Surely, God did not simply make them that way, for then God would be responsible for the existence of the devil and for the evil he does. We might say that each is responsible because each was free to choose otherwise, and this is exactly what the leeway libertarian claims. Leeway libertarianism faces important objections, however. The two most troublesome are The Problem of Diminished Control and The Problem of Enhanced Control. In this presentation, I argue that leeway libertarians can avoid both of these problems, but that they face an unappreciated problem, which I call The Problem of Robust Control. By appreciating this problem, I argue, we can see why leeway libertarianism is not worth wanting when we attempt to hold those, such as Lucifer, responsible for their actions, even though it is worth wanting when we consider whether we can hold ourselves responsible for what he have done.