Thanks again for Tom Nadelhoffer for this great opportunity. This'll be my last post (this time around), as I'm off Saturday morning for the JTF Board Mtgs in Philadelphia. I hope to be able to reply on the comments thread either as I travel or early next week, but don't expect my usual neurotic electronic alacrity. Thanks to everyone: we have a great "Free Will" community!!
I want to shift gears a bit. Of course, manipulation worries are pressing, especially but not exclusively (in my view) for compatibilists. I have pressed manipulation arguments against what I have called "mesh" theories, and various contemporary philosophers, including Derk Pereboom and Patrick Todd have recently given powerful and challenging versions of these arguments.
Here I want to talk about a related, but, in my view different kind of argument, the Initial Design Argument. Al Mele has given an elegant and influential version of such an argument: The Zygote Argument. Whereas many people seem to think that such arguments provide a big problem for compatibilism, I want to call this into question. (Note: Al Mele himself simply takes it that the Zygote Argument presents a problem for compatibilism; he does not however conclude that it is a decisive problem or embrace incompatibilism.)